S. Korean Lee wins Olympic men's 10,000m speed skating thanks for Kramer's mistake

09:27, February 24, 2010      

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A simple crossover mistake in the men's 10,000 meters speed skating that destroyed Sven Kramer of Netherlands to become the double winner at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver on Tuesday, but helped Lee Seung-Hoon of South Korea the luckiest champion in Vancouver.

Lee Seung-Hoon, a surprised winner in the 5,000m 10 days ago at the Richmond Olympic Oval, renewed the Olympic record in a time of 12 minutes 58.55, slicing 0.37 seconds of the previous mark set by Jochem Uytdehaage of Netherlands on Feb. 22, 2002.

The treble world champion and record holder Kramer clocked a faster time than Lee, 12:54.50. However, he was disqualified for incorrect changing of lanes with 8 laps remaining of the event.

Lee, who changed to speed skating from short track last July, said: "Today I did my very best and that's the best record I could do today. I'm lucky to get this medal. On the other hand, had Kramer not been disqualified, he would have had it. I know I am lucky. I will work harder to become a better skater and I'm extremely happy."

"My coaches told me at first that Kramer had made a mistake and I saw it on the replay they were showing on the big screen. I want to compete with Kramer again," Lee added.

Kramer, who won 5,000m Olympic gold last week, thrown away his goggles after he was disqualified.

"Usually, I don't want to blame anyone else, but this time I can't do anything else. I wanted to go on the outer lane then just before the cone, my coach Gerard Kemker shouted 'inner lane,' I thought he's probably right and went to the inner lane," Kramer said.

"At first I thought my skates passed the cone on the wrong side, I will be disqualified. Then I noticed in the stadium something was wrong. You have to decide in a split second. Afterwards I should have gone with my own thoughts, but I was brought into doubt. This really sucks," said the 23-year-old Kramer.

Ivan Skobrev of Russia and Bob de Jong of Netherlands came to second and third in 13:02.07 and 13:06.73, respectively after Kramer's disqualification.

Skobrev said: "Honestly I feel bad for Kramer. It's the Olympics, anything can happen. I strongly believe that to show good result, you don't need to have just good muscles but also clear mind. You have to analyse and calculate very carefully every lap. I think he was too focused while he made that mistake."

The women's 5,000m will take place on Feb. 24.

Source: Xinhua
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