Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 2

Ireen Wust delivers another Dutch speedskating gold; Russia gets first medal of home Olympics

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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

Lara Gut wins Lake Louise super-G, closes gap on Mikaela Shiffrin

SOELDEN, AUSTRIA - OCTOBER 22: Lara Gut of Switzerland takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on October 22, 2016 in Soelden, Austria (Photo by Michel Cottin/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
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The early portion of the Alpine skiing season indicates the battle for the women’s World Cup overall title could be very close between Lara Gut and Mikaela Shiffrin.

Gut stated her case again Sunday, winning a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta, picking up 100 points and drawing to within 28 of the leader Shiffrin in the standings. They are through seven of a scheduled 37 races.

Shiffrin, so strong this fall, took a step back with a 34th-place finish under falling snow Sunday, the race delayed by 75 minutes due to the weather.

LAKE LOUISE: Full results | Race replay

Shiffrin had placed 18th and 13th in her first World Cup downhills the previous two days. She was 15th in the Lake Louise super-G one year ago, her World Cup debut in that discipline.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion and a World Cup giant slalom winner, is turning into an overall title threat for two reasons.

One, her addition of speed disciplines to pick up extra points (she added 33 points this weekend). Two, the absence of past overall champions Lindsey Vonn and Anna Veith due to injuries and Tina Maze due to a retirement (after a home finale).

Shiffrin’s best World Cup overall standings finish before this season was fourth two seasons ago.

Gut, though, is a proven winner in downhill, super-G and giant slalom and arguably hitting her prime at age 25. Shiffrin is 21 and not entirely comfortable in speed races.

Shiffrin can look forward to the upcoming World Cup schedule. Nine of the next 12 races are technical events — her specialties — giving her a great chance to hold the World Cup overall standings lead into mid-January.

The women’s World Cup moves to Sestriere, Italy, next weekend for a giant slalom and slalom. Shiffrin has won her last 10 World Cup slaloms, two shy of the record streak for any women’s event.

MORE: Ted Ligety seconds behind in continued return from torn ACL

Ted Ligety seconds behind as he continues return from ACL tear

VAL D'ISERE, FRANCE - DECEMBER 04: Ted Ligety of USA competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Giant Slalom on December 4, 2016 in Val d'Isere, France (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
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If Ted Ligety is to become the world’s best giant slalom skier again, it’s going to take some time.

On Sunday, the Olympic and world champion placed 11th in his second GS since tearing his right ACL in January.

The 32-year-old Ligety was 2.63 seconds behind first-time French winner Mathieu Faivre after two runs in Val d’Isère, France.

“I didn’t feel that comfortable to push that hard and it showed in the time,” Ligety told media in Val d’Isère, according to the U.S. Ski Team.

Ligety was ninth following the first run, 1.37 seconds back of Austrian Marcel Hirscher, who fell to second, .49 behind Faivre, after the last run.

Ligety failed to build on his season-opening fifth place in Soelden, Austria, from Oct. 23, his first race in nine months. He said after Saturday’s finish that he feels like he’s skiing better than he was in October.

“I just need to be able to put it together and have the confidence to push hard,” Ligety said.

He has gone five straight World Cup giant slaloms without a podium, his longest drought since the 2006-07 season.

The U.S. put five men in the top 30 overall, with Ligety joined by Tommy Ford (14th), Tim Jitloff (18th), Ryan Cochran-Siegle (22nd) and David Chodounsky (27th).

VAL D’ISERE: Full results | Run 2 replay

NBCSN will air coverage of the Val d’Isère giant slalom on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, also streaming here, with six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller as an analyst.

The men’s World Cup stays in Val d’Isère for a giant slalom and slalom next weekend.

VIDEO: High-speed crash in Lake Louise women’s downhill