SOCHI, Russia — Just about every speedskater at the Olympics has been asked about the United States' stunning inability to win a medal. Questions typically touch upon the controversial race suits the skaters swapped mid-competition.
But U.S. speedskater Maria Lamb didn't race until the women's 5,000 on Wednesday, the last individual competition. She finished 16th.
"I know we're all capable of so much more than these Games have shown," the three-time Olympian said. "To have to watch [my teammates] be defeated — not so much by the fact that they're not capable of more — but by some of the leadership in the organization is really heartbreaking to me."
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She called the controversy surrounding Under Armour's new Mach 39 suit the latest in a series of issues frustrating skaters for years, including training conditions before the Olympics and allegations of mismanagement by federation staff.
Lamb, the only U.S. skater competing Wednesday, was not a medal contender and clocked in at 7 minutes 29.64 seconds to finish last. World-record holder Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic defended her title in 6:51.54 to capture her fifth Olympic medal. The Netherlands expanded its Olympic-record haul in speedskating to 21 as Ireen Wust finished in 6:54.28 for silver and Carien Kleibeuker took bronze at 6:55.66.
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The country's men's and women's teams advanced to the gold-medal games by winning their semifinals.
The Canadian women will be the first team to go undefeated in Olympic play if they beat Sweden. Canada went down to the last rock to beat Britain, 6-4. If skip Jennifer Jones had not hit the center mark, Britain would likely have won. Sweden beat Switzerland, 7-5, in the other semifinal.
On the men's side, Canada had an easy time beating China, 10-6. Canada is looking for its third straight gold. In the other semifinal, Britain scored two points on the last rock to beat Sweden, 6-5.
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway became the most decorated athlete in Winter Olympics history when he won the inaugural mixed relay for his 13th medal. He has eight golds, four silvers and one bronze. The Czech Republic won the silver and Italy the bronze. The U.S. team of Susan Dunklee, Hannah Dreissigacker, Tim Burke and Lowell Bailey finished ninth.
Finland pulled a mild upset by winning the men's team sprint. Finland benefited when a fall behind it slowed down some of the field. Russia picked up the silver and Sweden got the bronze. Simi Hamilton and Erik Bjornsen of the U.S. finished sixth.
In the women's team sprint, Norway got an easy win. Finland got the silver and Sweden took the bronze. The U.S. team of Sophie Caldwell and Kikkan Randall finished eighth.