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Winter Olympics: Russia claims first medal with speed skating bronze

Published on Feb 9, 2014 9:53 PM
 
Russia's Olga Graf celebrates after wining the bronze medal in the Women's Speed Skating 3000m at the Adler Arena during the Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb 9, 2014. Russia on Sunday breathed a sigh of relief after the host nation of the Sochi 2014 Games finally claimed its first medal well into the second day of finals. -- PHOTO: AFP

SOCHI (AFP) - Russia on Sunday breathed a sigh of relief after the host nation of the Sochi 2014 Games finally claimed its first medal well into the second day of finals.

Olga Graf took bronze in the 3,000 metres women's speed skating event behind winner Ireen Wust of the Netherlands and silver medallist Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic.

Russian athletes are under huge pressure to perform in Sochi and show the world that the country is still a sporting superpower more than two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In an agonising start to the Games, Anton Shipulin missed out on a medal in the biathlon sprint after spraying his final shot wide, while Maxim Vylegzhanin lost out in the skiathlon by less than a ski tip.