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Speedskating: U.S. advances to finals of men's team pursuit, semifinals of women's team pursuit

February 26, 2010 |  3:12 pm

Chad Hedrick is guaranteed a fifth Olympic medal, leading the United States to an upset win over Sven Kramer and the powerful Dutch in the men's team pursuit at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Friday.

Hedrick skated with Brian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck and barely got past the team from the Netherlands, winning by 0.40 in the eight-lap semifinal race.

The U.S. will face Canada in Saturday's gold-medal match. Hedrick already has a gold, a silver and two bronzes in his career, and he'll add one more Olympic medal before retiring after the Vancouver Games.

On the women's side, the U.S. edged Canada by 0.05 seconds to advance to the semifinals of the women’s team pursuit event.

The Americans will face Germany in the semifinals on Saturday. The U.S. team includes Catherine Raney Norman (Elm Grove, Wis.), Jennifer Rodriguez (Miami), Jilleanne Rookard (Woodhaven, Mich.) and Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr. (Wheaton, Ill.).

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Americans Chad Hedrick, Jonathan Kuck and Trevor Marsicano earned a spot in the team pursuit speedskating final. Credit: Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images.