The orange crush continues in the early speed skating events of the Sochi Olympics.
One day after the Netherlands’ Sven Kramer led a Dutch sweep of the medals in the men’s 5000m, Ireen Wust has given her country another gold with a victory in the women’s 3000m. It’s her third Olympic title, and her second in that specific event.
She dethroned the 2010 Olympic champ in the 3000m, Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic, with a time of 4:00.34 – 1.6 seconds ahead of Sablikova, who settled for the silver after her run of 4:01.95.
MORE: NBCOlympics.com Video – Watch Wust make her gold-medal winning skate
The home crowd in Sochi also saw Olga Graf deliver Russia its first medal of these Games, as she scored the bronze with a run of 4:03.47 that triggered plenty of cheers inside the Adler Arena.
Germany’s Claudia Pechstein narrowly missed in her first Sochi attempt to claim a 10th Olympic medal, finishing fourth. One more medal will put her alongside cross-country skiers Stefania Belmondo (ITA) and Raisa Smetanina (USSR/Unified) as the most decorated female Winter Olympians of all time.
Jilleanne Rookard placed 10th, 9.68 seconds behind the pace set by Wust, to lead the Americans.
SPEED SKATING – WOMEN’S 3000m
1. Irene Wust (NED), 4:00.34
2. Martina Sablikova (CZE), 4:01.95
3. Olga Graf (RUS), 4:03.47
10. Jilleanne Rookard (USA), 4:10.02
26. Anna Ringsred (USA), 4:21.51
Los Angeles Lakers point guard José Calderón retired from Spain’s national team after playing in his fourth Olympics in Rio.
Calderón, 34, earned silver medals in 2008 and 2012 and bronze in 2016 for Spain, which lost to the U.S. in the medal rounds at each of the last three Olympics.
Calderón is one of five Spaniards to play in the last four Olympic tournaments, along with Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes.
Calderón came off the bench in Rio and played 25 minutes total in five of the team’s eight games. He’s entering his 12th season in the NBA.
Gasol, who will be 40 years old come Tokyo 2020, has not determined when he will end his international career.
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Helen Maroulis nervously stood to the side of Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh as he introduced the Olympic gold medalist to his players, in full pads and ready to take the field, in their locker room Saturday.
“When you beat a legend, you become a legend,” Harbaugh told the team and Maroulis. “You’re a legend, so our guys want to hear about it.”
Maroulis, who beat three-time Olympic champion Saori Yoshida to become the first U.S. Olympic women’s wrestling champion, then stepped up. Wearing a Ravens jersey — “No. 16 Maroulis” — she addressed the team.
“I was incredibly nervous,” Maroulis said later. “I just speak from the heart.”
Her full speech before the Ravens-Lions preseason game Saturday:
“A lot of people asked if I knew I was going to win before the finals. And, no, I don’t ever know if I’m going to win before a match. And I’ve always said, I’m not called to be a Magic 8-Ball. I’m called to be a wrestler. So my job isn’t to predict the future. My job is to step out there and give everything that I have. Just through studying opponents and studying people’s mindsets and trying to figure out what was going to work for me, I just realized that you have to give everything you have, and you have to sacrifice everything that needs to be sacrificed, but you can’t take anything with you into a match that’s going to guarantee you a win. Like all the hard work, everything, that doesn’t promise you a win. You still have to step out there as if you’re wrestling for your life, or you’re fighting for your life. Did I know I was going to beat her? No. But I always say, Christ is in me. I am enough. I didn’t need to be perfect that day. I didn’t need to be the fastest. I just needed to be enough. And on that day I was enough to win.”
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