Sochi 2014: Sablikova ‘most decorated’ Czech despite restless night
Sochi 2014: Martina Sablikova adds 5,000m skating gold to 3,000 silver to be Czech Republic's most successful Olympian
With victory in the women’s 5,000 metres speed skating Martina Sablikova retained her Olympic title and became the Czech Republic’s most successful Olympian across both summer and winter games.
The 26-year-old picked up her first gold medal of the games to add to the silver she won earlier in the 3,000 metres.
Sablikova, who brought two gold and one bronze medal home from Vancouver, broke the Dutch dominance in the discipline where they have won 21 out of 30 medals on offer so far.
When I saw my competitor was going ahead, I told myself, ‘Really, aren’t you going to get her?’, and it gave me extra energy. I wanted to prove to everyone that I could do it again
“I’m glad to help to take the pressure off the Dutch,” she said.
“I was really nervous, I couldn’t sleep until 02:00 last night, when I realised 5000 people came to watch [the race] today, I got even more nervous.
“I did it for myself and for my home country. When you believe in yourself, it really helps.”
Sablikova was up against Ireen Wust from Holland who set off at a cracking pace but the Czech athlete maintained her composure to win.
“When I saw my competitor was going ahead, I told myself, ‘Really, aren’t you going to get her?’, and it gave me extra energy. I wanted to prove to everyone that I could do it again,” the Nove Mesto native said.
Wust finished second, claiming her fourth medal in Sochi, the most ever by a Dutch Olympian at a single winter games.
The 27-year-old also broke the record for the overall total number of medals won by a Dutch athlete in their career.
Silver in the 5,000 metres took her tally to seven moving her ahead of fellow skaters Rintje Ritsma and Sven Kramer.
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