Five-time speedskating champ Sven Kramer nearing another title

Sven Kramer won the overall speedskating championships in 2007-2010 and again in 2012.
Peter Dejong/AP

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (AP) -- Five-time champion Sven Kramer took a step toward his sixth European allround speedskating title by winning the 5,000-meter race Friday.

The reigning Olympic champion and world record holder powered around the Thialf oval in 6 minutes, 12.55 seconds, more than 5 seconds quicker than teammate Jan Blokhuijsen, who was considered the only skater with a chance to upset Kramer.

Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway was third.

In the competition's first event, Konrad Niedzwiedzki won the 500-meter race in 35.93 seconds, one-tenth of a second ahead of his Poland teammate Zbigniew Brodka. Havard Bokko of Norway was third.

Kramer leads the allround standings ahead of Blokhuijsen and Bokko with the 1,500 and 10,000 scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

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