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Russian Skater Wins Country's First Medal of Olympics

Skater Olga Graf holds the Russian flag and a doll of the cartoon character Cheburashka. Gregory Sysoev

Russian fans at the skating complex in Sochi celebrated the country's first medal of the Winter Olympics on Sunday, cheering skater Olga Graf after she placed third in the women's 3000 meter race.

The Netherlands' Ireen Wust won the long track event collected her third Olympic gold medal. Her time of 4:00.34 beat the Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova at 4:01.95 and 4:03.47 from Graf, who held the Russian flag behind her as she trotted around the arena to the buzzing of vuvuzelas and chants of her name.

The podium finish was a personal best for Graf, a 30-year-old Omsk native, who had previously only placed fourth or below in major international competitions.

The Dutch team has performed well in distance skating events the first weekend of the Olympics, and swept the men's 5000 meter medals on Saturday.

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