Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková has won the gold medal in the women’s 5000 meter race, becoming the first Czech ever to win three medals in the Winter Olympics. The 22-year-old will now be returning from Vancouver with a special place in Czech sports history, having won an earlier gold in the three-kilometre race and a bronze in the 1500. Sáblíková completed the circuit on Wednesday’s race in 6:50.91, beating the track record set by the contestant before her, German Stephanie Beckert, by a tight 0.48 seconds. Third place was taken by Canadian Clara Hughes. Sáblíková, was the last to compete and was thus aware of her accomplishment immediately as she reached the finish line, triumphant and quite evidently exhausted. In other Olympics news, a success for the Czech relay team, who won the bronze in the 4x10 kilometre race Thursday morning. Meanwhile, hopes of a medal win in hockey were dashed by a 0:2 loss to Finland.
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