Dutch Wust takes women's 1500m speed skating gold at Vancouver

13:17, February 22, 2010      

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Ireen Wust of the Netherlands competes in the women's 1500 metres at the Richmond Olympic Oval during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics February 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters)

Turin Olympic bronze medalist Ireen Wust of the Netherlands jumped upon the champion podium in tears to celebrate her victory in the women's 1,500 meters speed skating at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games here on Sunday.

Wust, third-ranked in the World Cup ranking and bronze medalist in the distance at the 2009 World Single Distances Championships, stormed in one minute and 56.89 seconds.

It is Wust's second Olympic gold medal after she claimed the 3,000m victory from Turin at the age of 19.

"I cannot describe how happy I am. I have no words for it. I think I am the happiest person on the earth right now," said the 23-year-old Dutch. "I don't want to be a person that always cries, but today apparently I am."

Wust had a sluggish star at the Vancouver Games after she placed seventh in the 3,000m and eighth in the 1,000m.

"I felt really good but it didn't work in the 3,000m and 1,000m. This was my last chance. I thought I had to open well and skate relaxed. Everything went right," she added.

Ireen Wust (R) of the Netherlands and Daniela Anschutz Thoms of Germany compete in the women's 1500 metres speed skating race at the Richmond Olympic Oval during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, February 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters)

Since Wust's teammate Mark Tuitert lifted the men's 1,500m title of the Vancouver Games on Saturday, it was the first time in 46 years that speed skaters representing the same team had swept both men's and women's 1,500m at the same Winter Olympics.

In 1964, Ants Antson and Lidia Skoblikova completed the two events on behalf of the Soviet Union.

Pre-Games favourite Kristina Groves of Canana repeated the same position as a silver medalist in 1:57.14 as she placed second four years ago in Turin.

The newly-crowned 3,000m Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic was third in 1:57.96.

Defending champion and world record holder Cindy Klassen of the host country was not in her peak form and came to 21st among the 36 skaters. She had surgeries on both knees in 2008.

The men's 10,000m race will take place on Feb. 23.

Ireen Wust of the Netherlands celebrates after competing in the women's 1500 metres at the Richmond Olympic Oval during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics February 21, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters)

Source: Xinhua
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