February 10 - Michel Mulder continued the Netherlands utter dominance in speed skating as he led home a Dutch clean sweep of the medals over 500 metres.
After victories for Sven Kramer over 5,000m and Ireen Wüst in the 3,000m, the decline in distance made absolutely no difference and a third successive Dutch victory was never in doubt.
In the tightest of contests, Mulder finished only 0.01 seconds ahead of Jan Smeekens, with a tie for the gold medal initially awarded before the clock readjusted the official times to give Mulder the slimmest of victories.
A fine second run from his twin brother Ronald was enough to secure bronze making it the second time two siblings had stood on the same podium this week, after gold and silver medal winners in the women's moguls Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe of Canada.
"I did not really realise what time I needed,'' the winning Mulder said.
"In the past, I have lost races by one-hundredths a few times.
"It was so unbelievable - now, [I am] Olympic champion.''
Elsewhere, it was Canada's day as they won double gold in short track speed skating and moguls freestyle skiing to leapfrog the Netherlands and go top of the medals table with seven medals, three of which are gold.
Under floodlights, Alex Bilodeau came storming back after a mediocre first run to defend the moguls title he won on home snow in Vancouver in 2010.
The 26-year-old has already announced he will retire after Sochi and he certainly finished his career on a high as he beat compatriot Mikaël Kingsbury with - to the delight of the home fans - Russia's Aleksandr Smyshlyaev hanging on for bronze.
Before that Charles Hamelin won the first short track gold medal of the Games when he secured a fine front-skating victory over 1,500m, as China's Han Tianyu and Russia's Viktor Ahn claimed silver and bronze.
Earlier, Maria Höfl-Riesch of Germany successfully defended her super combined Alpine skiing title.
France also began their medal collection with gold and bronze in the 12.5 kilometres pursuit biathlon courtesy of Martin Fourcade and Jean-Guillaume Béatrix, with Czech Republic's Ondrej Moravec sandwiched between them in second.
The wait for Norway's Ole Einar Bjørndalen to become the all time record Winter Olympic winner continues, at least for the time being, after he finished fourth.
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