Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands falls as he takes the start with Mitchell Whitmore of the U.S., top, for the second heat of the men's 500-meter speedskating race at the Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


February 10, 2014

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


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