Men's speedskating

Kramer, coach make peace after mistake cost them gold

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sven Kramer and his coach Gerard Kemkers have talked over their parts in the most embarrassing blunder in Olympic speedskating and agreed to get on with business.

Kemkers took the blame for directing Kramer into the wrong lane in Tuesday night's 10,000 meters, a move that got the world champion and overwhelming favorite disqualified despite finishing with the fastest time.

But Kemkers's job is safe.

"The past years were simply too good to drop someone just like that," Kramer said.

Back at training Wednesday in Richmond, B.C., Kramer was focusing on Kemkers's positive contributions to his career: "Three times world champion, four times European champion, so many World Cups and Olympic gold in the 5,000 meters."

The disqualification was shocking enough for occasional viewers in Vancouver. In the Netherlands, where the sport is like a national institution, the unprecedented mistake from such an experienced and successful combination has dumbfounded fans and critics.

"It happened. It is done with. It is terrible," Kramer said. "The medal is in South Korea and we will never get it back."

-- From news services

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