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Russian speed skater Voronina wins Olympic bronze in Ladies’ 5,000 meters

Dutch speed skater Esmee Visser won the gold and Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic took the silver

PYEONGCHANG, February 16. /TASS/. Russian speed skater Natalia Voronina raced to bronze on Friday in Ladies’ 5,000 meters competition at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang.

Dutch speed skater Esmee Visser won the gold with the result of 6 minutes 50.23 seconds and Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic, who currently holds the world record on this distance, finished second 1.62 seconds behind Visset to take the silver medal.

Alexei Kravtsov, the president of the Russian Speed Skating Union (RSSU), said in an interview with TASS that the bronze of Voronina was an unbelievable result and could be compared to winning the gold.

"I hoped that she would finish in the top five," Kravtsov said. "I could not believe it until the very end as the Dutch speed skaters clocked fantastic time in the beginning."

"Natalia is a great athlete as she did it under such conditions and it is unbelievable," he said. "This medal is worth the gold."

Russian athletes won two bronze and one silver medals on Friday in PyeongChang. The team of Olympic athletes from Russia is currently 15 in the medal standings of the 2018 Winter Games with a total of eight medals - two silver and six bronze.

Late last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the membership of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) over doping abuse allegations but allowed clean Russian athletes to participate in the 2018 Winter Games under the Olympic flag and in the neutral status of an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR).

The 23rd Winter Olympic Games kicked off in PyeongChang with an official opening ceremony on February 9 and will conclude on February 25.