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Dutch speed skater claim European championship, again

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Speed skater Sven Kramer has netted another all-around title at the recent European speed skating championships. The Dutch four-time European champ won the men's 1,500 meters and 10,000 to claim his fifth European crown. He finished the first race in 1 minute, 53.98 seconds to beat Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway and fellow Dutch skeeter Jan Blokhuijsen, before clocking 13:45.05 in the 10,000. Blokhuijsen, who had led the overall standings after the first two events, was second in the 10,000, 7 seconds back. Norway's Havard Bokko was third, a further 10 seconds behind. They also finished second and third in the overall standings. Kramer did not participate in the 2011 championships. He missed out on an Olympic win in Vancouver in 2010 for skating in the wrong lane. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won her fourth all-around European crown by winning the women's 5,000 meters. She finished in 7:22.38, beating five-time Olympic champion Claudia Pechstein of Germany by more than 12 seconds. Ireen Wust of the Netherlands was third. Pechstein and Wust were also second and third, respectively, in the overall standings.