U.S. men out of team pursuit

— -- SOCHI, Russia -- The Americans are down to their last medal hope in Olympic speedskating after Shani Davis, Brian Hansen and Jonathan Kuck were beaten soundly by Canada in the quarterfinals of the men's team pursuit Friday.

The U.S. trio was in trouble right from the start, as Kuck struggled to keep up with Davis and Hansen sprinting away from the line. Canada already had more than a half-second lead at the first split and the margin grew steadily from there.

In the closing laps, Davis fell off the pace set by his teammates in what could be the final Olympic event for one of America's greatest skaters.

Denny Morrison, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux crossed the line a whopping 3.52 seconds ahead.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Netherlands eased toward another speedskating gold medal, routing France.

The Dutch trio of Sven Kramer, Jan Blokhuijsen and Koen Verweij won by 8.70 seconds, coming around the final turn while the French were just going into the turn at the other end of the rink.

The victory sent the Dutch into the semifinals against Poland later Friday. The other semifinal will match Canada vs. South Korea.

Poland rallied to beat Norway by 0.41, while South Korea quieted the home crowd with a victory over Russia by 3.38.

The women's team pursuit started after the men, with Netherlands also a heavy favorite. The Dutch face the U.S. in the opening round.

The women's event is now the lone medal possibility for the Americans.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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