Germany's veteran speedskating star Claudia Pechstein has failed in her first shot at a medal at the Sochi Games. The Netherlands, meanwhile, captured another speedskating gold.
Ireen Wust of Netherlands captured gold in the women's 3,000 meters on the speedskating oval at the Sochi Olympics on Sunday, with a winning time of 4 minutes, 0.34 seconds over the seven and a half laps.
Martina Sablikova of Czech Republic, who won gold in Vancouver four years ago, took the silver medal, while Olga Graf of Russia captured the bronze, giving the host nation their first silverware at these Winter Games.
Wust's victory comes a day after Sven Kramer's victory in the men's 5,000 meters, as speedskaters from the Netherlands swept the entire podium in that event.
Germany's Claudia Pechstein, who had missed the 2010 Vancouver Games due to a controversial doping ban, failed to reach the podium, finishing with a time of four minutes, 5.26 seconds to come in fourth.
This had been seen as the German team's first good chance at a medal in Sochi. Pechstein, the world's most successful speedskater at the Olympics, with a total of five career medals, will get a second chance to take home some silverware at Sochi on February 19, in the women's 5,000 meters.
In alpine skiing earlier in the day, Matthias Mayer of Austria pulled off an upset, winning the men’s downhill with a time of two minutes and 6.23 seconds. This was Austria’s first Olympic gold medal in the downhill, since Fritz Strobel did so at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
pfd/msh (AP, dpa)