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Lamb skates to 15th at Olympic Games

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River Falls native Maria Lamb finished 15th in the Ladies' 5,000-meter speed skating event with a time of 7 minutes, 25.15 seconds at the Richmond Olympic Oval Wednesday in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

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Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic captured the gold medal with a time of 6:60.91. Stephanie Beckert of Germany finished 0.48 seconds behind to take silver with Clara Hughes 4.34 second behind Sablikova earning bronze.

After the race, Lamb said she was happy with her performance but thought she was capable of doing better.

"I started having my right leg kind of lock up on me the last three laps," she said. "But it was a good, steady race until then."

Lamb said about two months ago, after the Olympic trials, she would have hoped for a better time, but she cut her ankle in training a month ago and the wound became infected.

"They told me to go home and lay on the couch for a week and put me in a cast," she said. "So I was off ice for ten days and I was on massive antibiotics until about a week ago. I could barely get through a training session. So, everything considered, I am really happy with how it went and everything I have gotten trough just to be here and be able to skate today."

This is Lamb's second Olympic Games. In Turin, Italy, in 2006, she placed 24th in the 1500 meter race and was a member of the three-person U.S. team in the team pursuit competition where she helped the U.S. to a fifth place finish.

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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