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Smeekens leads after 1st heat in Olympic 500

Published: Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 9:55 a.m. CDT
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands, front and Mika Poutala of Finland compete in the first 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.

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Dutch skaters Jan Smeekens and Michel Mulder held the top two positions after Monday's first heat of the Olympic 500-meter competition.

Smeekens crossed in 34.59 seconds, holding an edge of just .04 seconds over world sprint champion Mulder. Keiichiro Nagashima of Japan finished in 34.79 and defending champion Mo Tae-bum of South Korea clocked 34.84 at the Adler Arena.

The 500 is raced over two heats with the combined time determining the Olympic champion.

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