Kramer disqualified after coach's mistake 

One disastrous decision turned Sven Kramer's gold-medal celebration into a nightmare.

The 23-year-old Dutch speedskater failed to switch lanes in the middle of his 10,000-meter race on Tuesday at the Richmond Olympic Oval. So instead of earning his second gold medal of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Kramer was disqualified and the gold was awarded to South Korea's Lee Seung-Hoon (12 minutes, 58.55 seconds).

Just like that Kramer's medal and his Olympic-record time -- he finished first by over four seconds -- were gone. In long track speedskating the competitors switch lanes on each backstretch to even out the distance skated.

After the race, Dutch coach Gerard Kemkers said he inexplicably yelled at Kramer to take the inside lane -- the one he was already skating in. Even worse, the mistake happened with just eight laps to go in the 25-lap race. On Feb. 13 Kramer dominated at 5,000 meters, setting an Olympic record in that event and earning his first gold.

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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Brian McNally

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I've been given the chance to write about some of the best athletes in the world. Can't imagine a job more fun than that.
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