No one can keep up with the Netherlands when it comes to speedskating.
Throughout the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Dutch have been a dominant force on the long-track, and Tuesday was no different. The Netherlands took a clean podium sweep in the grueling men's 10,000-meter final, continuing their unmatched success in the sport during these Winter Games.
Likewise, it also boosted their country to the top of the overall medal count leaderboard with a total of 20. Check out the top medal-winning countries so far in Sochi, plus a look at the biggest storylines and top finishers from Tuesday's competition.
Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer entered the men's 10,000-meter final as the overwhelming favorite, but not even he could keep up with gold medalist Jorrit Bergsma, who set an Olympic record with a time of 12 minutes, 44.45 seconds. Joining Bergsma on the podium were his fellow countrymen Kramer, who won silver, and bronze medalist Bob de Jong.
Paul Newberry of the Associated Press detailed the fight for first place between the two compatriots, and gave some perspective on the race's importance.
This was supposed to be about Sven Kramer's redemption, the place where the world's greatest distance skater finally made up for his incredible blunder four year ago.
Instead, Kramer was dealt another crushing disappointment.
With a stunner of a finishing kick, Bergsma upset his favored countryman to win speedskating Olympic gold in the 10,000 meters Tuesday with the fastest time ever at sea level.
"I understand that people really wanted to see Sven win here," Bergsma said. "But I skate for myself. I came here to win gold. I wasn't going to give away the gold for Sven's story."
Through nine speedskating events in Sochi, the Netherlands have claimed 19 of 27 medals and six first-place finishes, a nod to the incredible depth that this country has in the sport. When the men's and women's team speedskating competitions get underway on Saturday, you have to assume the Netherlands will be the runaway favorite for both races.
The top race of the day came in the men's biathlon 15-kilometer mass start event, when Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen's early celebrating led to this photo finish between he and France's Martin Fourcade.
In the end, Hegle Svendsen and Fourcade tied with the same time of 42 minutes, 29.1 seconds, but Hegle Svendsen's perfect shooting record gave him the gold.
Eric Willemsen of the Associated Press described the entertaining scene at the end of the race in Sochi.
As Svendsen cruised toward the finish line with his hands in the air, Fourcade made one last attempt to grasp victory with a sliding finish, pushing his left ski ahead to come within one-tenth of a second of stealing first place.
Svendsen admitted he may have started his celebrations too early.
"But I actually had pretty good control even though it looked very, very close," Svendsen said after the 15-kilometer mass start race. "It looked closer than it was for me."
The end of the day featured a triumph for an American athlete, as David Wise took gold in the first-ever Olympic halfpipe skiing event with a score of 92.00.
Tuesday also marked the much-anticipated Winter Games debut of former Team USA track star Lolo Jones, who partnered with Jazmine Fenlator as America's No. 3 bobsledding duo. While the pair is sitting at 11th through the first two runs, the U.S. currently has the fastest team with Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams leading the pack, two spots ahead of third-place partners Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans.
"Everything went as expected," Jones told Tom Withers of the Associated Press. "We knew we would have to fight. We knew it would be four tough runs."
The U.S. women will try to hold on to their podium positions on Wednesday when the competition concludes with the final two runs at 11:15 a.m. ET. You can watch live on NBC Live Extra and see highlights on NBC Primetime (8 p.m. / 7 p.m. CT) later in the evening.
Other notable action included host country Russia knocking of Norway in an elimination round in men's hockey while Slovenia, Latvia, and the Czech Republic also survived. Those four will meet Sweden, the United States, Canada and Finland in the quarterfinals.
Women's Alpine Skiing Giant Slalom
Men's Biathlon 15-Kilometer Mass Start
|1||NOR||Emil Hegle Svendsen||0-0-0-0||0||42:29.1|
|8||NOR||Johannes Thingnes Boe||1-0-0-0||1||43:34.2|
|10||CAN||Jean-Philippe Le Guellec||0-0-0-1||1||43:41.6|
|Leaders After Run 2|
|Great Britain (Advance to Semis)||6 - 5||Norway|
Men's Freestyle Skiing Halfpipe
|Elimination Game Results|
|Winner (Advance to Quarterfinals)||Score||Loser|
|Slovenia||4 - 0||Austria|
|Russia||4 - 0||Norway|
|Czech Republic||5 - 3||Slovakia|
|Latvia||3 - 1||Switzerland|
|Germany (7th)||3 - 2||Japan (8th)|
|Finland (5th)||4 - 0||Russia (6th)|
Men's Nordic Combined Large Hill/10-Kilometer
|2||NOR||Magnus Hovdal Moan||117.8||22:43.1|
|7||FRA||Jason Lamy Chappuis||120.7||23:10.9|
Men's Short-Track 500 meters
|Qualified Heat Finishers|
|2||NED||Freek van der Wart||41.190|
|7||KOR||Se Yeong Park||41.566|
Women's Short-Track 1,000 meters
|Qualified Heat Finishers|
|4||KOR||Suk Hee Shim||1:31.046|
|ADV||NED||Jorien Ter Mors||1:46.661|
Women's Short-Track 3,000-meter Relay
Men's Snowboard Cross
|4||FRA||Paul-Henri de le Rue|
Men's Speedskating 10,000 meters
|3||NED||Bob de Jong||13:07.19|
|4||KOR||Seung Hoon Lee||13:11.68|
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