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Holland dominating in speedskating events

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ADLER, Russia — The ring of a cellphone interrupted Jorrit Bergsma’s news conference after his Olympic Games 10,000-meter victory Tuesday night.

Netherlands prime minister Mark Rutte was calling.

“That was quite special that he called,” Bergsma said after the conversation.

It was the least the prime minister could do.

After all, Bergsma’s Olympic record-shattering triumph led the fourth Netherlands speedskating medals sweep of these Games and left the Dutch tied with the U.S. atop the medal standings with five days remaining in the Olympics.

Nineteen of the Netherlands’ 20 medals to date have come on the Adler Arena oval where the Dutch have raised their sport above the U.S. skin suit controversy and to heights rarely, if ever, achieved at a sea-level competition with mind-boggling performances on an almost daily basis.

The Dutch men speedskaters alone have as many medals (12) in one sport as the entire German (5) and French (7) men’s teams have combined, and three more than Canada’s overall men’s total.

“It’s unbelievable how many medals the Dutch team has taken from these Olympic Games,” said Bob de Jong, who picked up a bronze in the 10,000 to become the first male speedskater to medal in four Games.

But the most astonishing Dutch performance in 10 days of them came Tuesday when Bergsma upset one of the most anticipated story lines of these Games by destroying the Olympic record and superstar countryman Sven Kramer.

Four years ago, Kramer was skating away with the Olympic 10,000 race when his coach incorrectly instructed him to change lanes. The mistake led to Kramer being disqualified.

“It’s still there,” Kramer said when asked after his Olympic 5,000 victory last week how long it has taken him to get over the 2010 heartbreak.

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