Dutch coach Kemkers takes blame for Kramer's DQ in men's 10,000m speed skating

08:33, February 25, 2010      

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One day after Sven Kramer was disqualified in the men's 10,000 meters speed skating of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, the Dutch coach Gerard Kemkers said in Vancouver on Wednesday that he takes the blame for Kramer's mistake.

Kramer changed into the inside instead the outside lane after 17 laps of the 25-laps race. He clocked an official time of 2:54.50 which should bring him the champion, however, he was disqualified for incorrect changing of lanes.

South Korean Lee Seung-Hoon, a surprised winner in the 5,000m 10 days ago at the Richmond Olympic Oval, lifted the title after Kramer's disqualification.

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

"This is a real expensive mistake. This really sucks," Kramer said.

Coach Kemkers said: "I made my decision based on a series of observations. With these observations in mind, I was convinced Sven was making a mistake and that I was saving him from this mistake."

"I definitely have to carry the responsibility of this decision on my shoulders. It was my fault, but I think scapegoat is too negative."

"More often than not, everything works out fine. This time it didn't, with terrible consequences. If that gives people the image of me as a scapegoat, then I guess I just have to swallow that," Kemkers said.

After a morning training session on Wednesday, Kramer backed away from his criticism, saying he and Kemkers later sat down and spoke about the mistake.

"I can't imagine nicer conversations," he said. "We had a really good conversation in which we both did our story."

"In a lot of races it went fine. This time it went wrong. Gerard was alone. Normally there is someone behind the boarding that can write things down, but that is just not possible here with the camera rails. But I do not want to use that as an excuse," Kramer said.

Kramer said he did not believe the mistake, no matter how expensive, would end his relationship with his coach.

"The past few years have been too good," he said. "We have won so much together. You can't just throw that away."

Kemkers agreed:"During our collaboration Sven has been undefeated for four years. He would still be undefeated right now if yesterday hadn't happened. I have no doubts that yesterday's situation makes us better and that we will get more motivation out of this," Kemkers said.

Kramer added he already forgot about the men's 10,000m.

"It is not going to help anyone if I tear the whole place down. I am not the person that will stay angry for a long time. It is not going to help me, the team or Gerard."

"It happened and it is really sad, but we are not getting that medal back," Kramer said.

Source: Xinhua
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