SOCHI, Russia (AP) Four-time Olympic medalist Martina Sablikova will skip the women's 1,500-meter speedskating race to fully center on defending her gold in the 5,000.

The Czech skater took bronze in the 1,500 in the Vancouver Games but is best known as a long-distance specialist. She won Olympic gold in the 3,000 and 5,000 four years ago.

In Sochi, she already has a silver medal from the 3,000-meter race, where she finished behind Ireen Wust of the Netherlands.

Also competing in the 1,500 would have crowded her preparation schedule ahead of next Wednesday's 5,000.

Sablikova has eight long-distance world titles but not a single world championship medal in the 1,500.

Organizers could not immediately say Thursday who would take Sablikova's spot on the starting list.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.