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Heather Richardson falls short of medal, Lee Sang-hwa wins 500m gold

Speed Skating - Winter Olympics Day 4

competes during the Women’s 500m Speed Skating event during day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at at Adler Arena Skating Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

Quinn Rooney

When Heather Richardson finished her second race in the women’s 500m, she had a shot at a silver medal. That didn’t stand, however, so the U.S. women’s speed skating drought remains intact from 2002.

It all came down to the last pairing, as Lee Sang-hwa won gold with a total score of 74.70. That included coming up big with a second race of 37.28, improving on her first race’s 37.42 time.

Sang-hwa was the favorite, as she won gold in 2010.

Olga Fatkulina seemed primed to win gold for hosting country Russia, but settled for silver with a 75.06 mark. Margot Boer (Netherlands) gained bronze with 75.48.

Richardson was the top U.S. finisher with a 75.75 score, good for eighth overall.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins