Versatile Ter Mors leads another Dutch Sochi sweep

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2014 at 11:10 am •  Published: February 16, 2014
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SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The Dutch are just racing themselves at the Olympic speedskating oval.

Jorien ter Mors led another Netherlands sweep at Adler Arena, beating favorite Ireen Wust in the women's 1,500 meters Sunday and setting up a shot at becoming the first skater to win medals in both long and short track.

Competing in an early pairing, Ter Mors turned in a stunning time of 1 minute, 53.51 seconds, an Olympic record and the second-fastest ever at sea level. The only skater to go quicker was Wust at the Dutch Olympic trials in December.

Wust settled for silver this time in 1:54.09, with the bronze going to Lotte van Beek in 1:54.54.

If a fourth medal had been available, the Dutch would've snatched it, too.

Marrit Leenstra finished fourth, knocked off the podium by Van Beek in the final pairing.

Ter Mors is doing double-duty in Sochi. She just missed a short track medal Saturday, finishing fourth in the 1,500 at the Iceberg Skating Palace next door. She has another chance in the 1,000, which begins Tuesday.

"It is bizarre that I can do this," said Ter Mors, who had to wait nearly an hour to know the gold was assured after skating in the ninth of 18 pairings.

What the Dutch are doing is beyond belief.

They have now won 16 speedskating medals at Adler Arena, breaking the previous record haul of 13 set by East Germany at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. And with favorites in three of the last four events, they figure to push the mark to heights that may never be seen again.

All by themselves, the Dutch skaters put their country atop the medal table in Sochi. Counting a bronze won in short track, the tiny country has 17 medals overall — one more than the United States and Russia had by Sunday night.

It was the fifth win in eight events and the third sweep of the medal podium for the Dutch speedskaters, who have captured at least one medal in every race.

Wust was a heavy favorite to repeat as 1,500 champion based on her December time (1:53.31) and a gold medal in the 3,000 to start the Sochi Games. She settled for her sixth career medal, equaling Rintje Ritsma for the most ever by a Dutch Winter Olympian.

"I admit I'm a bit ticked," Wust said. "I had (a gold medal) in me. Maybe I was too keen, too concerned about lap times. You have got to be loose out there on the ice, and then the lap times will come. But I don't begrudge Jorien the gold."

At the other end of the scale are the Americans, who had another dismal day at the big oval. Heather Richardson of High Point, N.C., finished seventh, Brittany Bowe of Ocala, Fla., struggled to a 14th-place finish, and Jilleanne Rookard of Woodhaven, Mich., was 18th.

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