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“It’s three in a row,” Wust said, “and I want to become even more unique.”

Her celebration was certainly one-of-a-kind. Wust went sliding on her rear toward the barrier lining the outside lane — the only time she went down all day.

The other two medalists also whooped it up. Sablikova, who won gold in both the 3,000 and 5,000 at the Vancouver Games, didn’t seem to mind giving back one of her titles.

Wust was simply very fast today and nobody could fight her,” Sablikova said.

No one was more thrilled than Graf, who glided around the rink on one skate like she was flying and nearly caused herself some major embarrassment when she unzipped her skin-tight suit on a triumphant warm-down lap — then zipped it back up quickly when she realized there was nothing on underneath.

“I totally forgot,” she said sheepishly through a translator. “We have very good suits and they are very tight and I just did not know what to (do). You just want to breathe and you want to take off your suit and only afterward did I realize that maybe this video will appear on YouTube. But I don’t think it will be so bad.”

Pechstein looked like a skater approaching her 42nd birthday, unable to channel her anger over missing the Vancouver Games into a medal-winning performance. She was suspended over abnormal blood levels, even though she had never failed a doping test and steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

She’ll have another chance for that 10th medal in the 5,000.

“Finishing fourth at 41, that isn’t that bad,” Pechstein said. “The ice quality was tough but it was the same for everyone. I didn’t feel as old as I am. I’m feeling good about the 5k. I can still get my medal there.”

Jilleanne Rookard of Woodhaven, Mich., who skated in the pairing with Graf, was the highest-finishing American. She took 10th out of 28 skaters in 4:10.02. Anna Ringsred of Duluth, Minn., was 27th.