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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 22:47 GMT

Uytdehaage skates to Olympic glory

Jochem Uytdehaage has won the men's 5,000m speedskating event in record-breaking style at Salt Lake City.

Uytdehaage of the Netherlands set a new time of six minutes 14.66 seconds on his way to clinching gold and ensuring a Dutch presence on the podium.

United States skater Derek Parra, who also broke the world record earlier in the day, took the silver in 6:17.98 and Jens Boden of Germany won the bronze in 6:21.73.

"I just had to keep to my lap times and the record would take care of itself"
Jochem Uytdehaage

The Dutchman set the record in the penultimate race of the final, taking 3.32 seconds off the mark Parra set less than an hour earlier.

Parra's new time was all the more remarkable, considering his previous personal best was 15 seconds slower.

"I just had to keep to my lap times and the record would take care of itself," said Uytdehaage.

Both Uytdehaage and Parra broke the previous record set by another Dutch long-distance master and 1998 Olympic champion Gianni Romme.

But it was a disappointing day for other Dutch skaters as Bob de Jong and Carl Verheijen failed grab a medal.

It was a definite contrast to Nagano, where the Dutch men and women cashed in on their early adaptation to the revolutionary clap skate and collected half of the 10 gold medals.

Saturday's victory was Uytdehaage' second international title, having won the overall at the European championships last month.

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