SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Sven Kramer is so intent on atoning for the blunder that cost him the 10,000-meter speedskating title four years ago that he will likely skip a shot at gold in the 1,500 to concentrate exclusively on the long-distance event.
The Dutchman, who already won the 5,000 during the opening weekend of the Olympics, said Monday the middle distance would "likely" be too much of a distraction during his preparation for the longer race on Feb. 18.
At the 2010 Vancouver Games, he was on his way to the gold medal when coach Gerard Kemkers sent him into the wrong lane on a crossover. The error, which defied belief, brought a disqualification. It unsettled his confidence and instead of the three gold medals he was favored to win, he came home with only the 5,000.
So he is all focus now at the Adler Arena.
Kramer said that even if Kemkers said he was strong enough to take the 1,500 gold as well, it didn't matter.
"Even if I would win it, it is the 10,000 I want," he said.
And with an overwhelming victory in the 5,000 on Saturday, he is again as much the favorite to win the 10,000 than he was four years ago.
The 1,500 is much more an explosion of speed with more aggressive strides and sometimes flailing arms compared with rhythmic dance with arms on the back in the long-distance events.