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Nesbitt just misses podium at WC speed skating event in Sochi

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Associated Press
3/23/2013 12:13:35 PM
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SOCHI, Russia -- Jorrit Bergsma led a Dutch sweep of the podium Saturday in the men's 10,000-metre race at the speedskating world championships, and Olga Fatkulina won the women's 1,000 to capture Russia's second gold in three days,

Also, Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic maintained her domination in the women's long-distance races by winning the 5,000.

Bergsma clocked 12 minutes 57.69 seconds to edge out Sven Kramer by 2.02 seconds and claim his first major gold. Bob de Jong, a five-time world champion, timed 13:00.26 to finish third.

Bergsma skated 17 laps under 31 seconds and held a 5.21-second advantage at the 7,200-meter mark.

"I considered this race to be mine from the start," Bergsma said. "I tried to find the right speed on this ice and tried to keep this speed through the entire race. And judging from the result, I have succeeded."

Fatkulina clocked one minute 15.44 seconds at Adler Arena, the venue for the Sochi Olympics, to claim her first major victory. Two-time Olympic champion Ireen Wust was 0.27 seconds behind for second and her third medal in as many days. The Dutch skater dominated the women's 3,000 and 1,500 races. American Brittany Bowe edged out Olympic 1,000 champion Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., by 0.15 seconds for third place and her first major podium finish.

"Disappointing today. I did the best I could and it was good enough for fourth place," said Nesbitt, who won three gold and three silver medals in her last six 1,000-metre races this season. "But of course I like to be on top of the podium, especially in the 1,000. I think it's my strongest event. Obviously, the girls showed the ice can be pretty fast, so I have to figure out how to skate fast on it for next season."

The 23-year-old Fatkulina had the fastest times of 17.6 and 45.25 seconds at 200 and 600-metre marks respectively.

"I still do not believe in it (victory)," Fatkulina said. "I hoped for a podium finish today but didn't expect to win -- I'm still green and there were so many big names around."

Sablikova clocked 6: 54.31 to win her sixth consecutive championships gold in the discipline since 2007. Wust was 8.65 seconds behind for her second medal on Saturday. German veteran Claudia Pechstein timed 7:04.07 to claim her second bronze in three days.

Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin skated to eighth in the 5,000.

On Thursday, Denis Yuskov won the men's 1,500 to claim Russia's first gold at the worlds in 17 years.

Sunday's 500 and team pursuit races are scheduled to wrap up the championships.

Christine Nesbitt (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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