SOCHI SCENE: Toe pick

SOCHI, Russia (AP) All it took for Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands to go from medal contender to out at the men's 500-meter speedskating final: three steps.

Groothuis jammed the toe of his left skate into the ice at the start of his second run Monday night, sending ice flying into the air and giving Canada's Muncef Ouardi a free rink for his 1 1/4 laps around the track.

After stumbling, Groothuis took his time getting around the track, leisurely putting his glasses on his forehead then skating at an easy pace that didn't look like it took much exertion.

His final time in a race that usually takes around 35 seconds: 56.81 seconds - still an average of 19.6 mph, including the fall.

-- By Oskar Garcia -- Twitter http://twitter.com/oskargarcia

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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