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Olympics-Speed skating-Lee powers to 500m gold in record time

Reuters

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* Lee wins in Olympic record time

* Boer extends medal run of Dutch

By Patrick Johnston

SOCHI, Russia, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Lee Sang-hwa successfully defended the Olympic women's 500 metres speed skating title in a blistering record time at the Adler Arena on Tuesday to give South Korea their first medal of the Sochi Games.

Lee clocked an Olympic record 74.70 seconds for her two 500 metre races in the final session to relegate Olga Fatkulina of Russia into silver medal position and disappoint the majority of the crowd.

Margot Boer kept the strong Sochi speed skating run of the Dutch going by grabbing bronze, the Netherlands' eighth medal in four days of competition.

Lee, the world record holder, was the overwhelming favourite heading into the Games having dominated the discipline over the current World Cup season.

She topped the time sheets by 0.15 seconds after her first run from the outside lane in the final heat to eclipse the previous mark of Fatkulina.

The Russian led after the penultimate run in the second session to bring the crowd to their feet before Lee ruined the party with a dominant skate.

Her second heat time of 37.28 seconds was also an Olympic record.

The 24-year-old bent over and looked closed to tears as she skated down the back straight after crossing the finishing line.

China's Hong Zhang finished fourth with Japanese disappointment on the ice continuing as Nao Kodaira could only manage fifth. (Reporting by Patrick Johnston; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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