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Published: Wednesday, 2/24/2010

Miscue costs Dutch speedskater gold

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sven Kramer of the Netherlands and his coach Gerard Kemkers react after Kramer was disqualified from the men's 10,000 meter race after he failed to switch lanes while coming out of a turn. Sven Kramer of the Netherlands and his coach Gerard Kemkers react after Kramer was disqualified from the men's 10,000 meter race after he failed to switch lanes while coming out of a turn.
CHRIS CARLSON / AP Enlarge

VANCOUVER — Bode Miller made the kind of mistake that happens in skiing, especially for a risk-taker like him.

The gaffe made by Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer? Unbelievable.

Kramer went through the grueling 10,000-meter race on a seeming record pace but was disqualified for not switching lanes while coming out of a turn nearly two-thirds into the race.

Kramer went into the turn on the inside and was supposed to move to the outside lane for the next lap. He'd already moved over when Dutch coach Gerard Kemkers motioned for him to shift to the inside lane. Kramer seemed to hold off at first, then gave in.

Kemkers buried his head in his hands when he realized what happened. Kramer ended up skating the rest of the race in the same line as the other skater in his pair, but was so far ahead he couldn't have known anything was amiss. The only hint was when Kramer saw his girlfriend in the stands and her head was buried in her hands.

Kramer crossed the line with a big smile, believing he had another gold medal and Olympic record for his staggering list of feats: winner of the last three world championships at 5,000 and 10,000 meters; the world record-holder at both distances; and having already won gold and set an Olympic record in the 5,000 at this Olympics. Then Kemkers broke the news.

Kramer flung his glasses, then stomped the heel of his blade into the ice. Just like that, Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea had the gold and Kramer moved into Olympic infamy.

Miller's mistake wasn't nearly as colossal.

All he did was lose control and fail to finish his first run down the giant slalom course, ending his chances for a record fourth Alpine medal at a single Winter Games.

It's kind of fitting for a guy who likes to go against the grain. His Vancouver results could be called a Bode Slam: a gold, a silver, a bronze, and a DNF (did not finish).

Carlo Janka of Switzerland won the event.

Americans took silver in the Nordic combined, making it 26 medals — breaking their record a Winter Olympics not held in the United States.

Also yesterday, Canada's Ashleigh McIvor won the debut of women's skicross, and Russia won the women's biathlon relay by such a wide margin that the final skier slowed to give high-fives to fans and to blow kisses. Austria won the Nordic combined relay.

Norway got silver in the skicross race, and it was the country's 300th Winter Olympics medal, most of all countries.

Giant slalom

Miller almost crashed during the top half of his run, got straightened out, but then couldn't stay on line coming out of a gate in the second half.

“I'm taking more risk than everyone else,” Miller said. “That's partly why I'm able to get medals. It looks easy when you make it. When you crash like today, it's like, ‘Oh, huh?” '

Miller still has one race left, the slalom, and until Saturday to rest.

Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway got the bronze, joining Miller with three Alpine medals. American Ted Ligety finished ninth.

Speedskating

Lee lowered the Olympic record by 0.37 seconds. Kramer likely would have lowered it even more, further compounding his mistake.

“I expected to be on the podium but not for the gold,” said Lee, who won silver in the 5,000. “I could not have realized that this would have happened. I trained and prepared long for this. Sven Kramer is a great skater.”

Hockey

The U.S. men's team will face Switzerland today in the quarterfinals. The Swiss advanced with a 3-2 shootout victory over Belarus.

A revived Canadian hockey team beat Germany 8-2, setting up a showdown against Russia today.

Russia had two days off after winning its group and will be better rested than Canada, which will play its second game in 24 hours.

Figure skating

World champion Kim Yu-na has set a world best in routing a strong field in the women's short program.

Seeking South Korea's first figure skating medal, Kim has earned 78.50 points, giving her a huge 4.72-point edge over Japan's Mao Asada.

Canada's Joannie Rochette's brave, heart-wrenching performance two days after her mother died has her in third place heading into tomorrow's free skate.

Japan's Miki Ando is fourth, followed by Americans Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu.

Bobsled

Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada have the lead midway through the women's bobsled competition, a smidgen ahead of upstarts Erin Pac and Elana Meyers of the United States.

Humphries got Canada-1 down the track at the Whistler Sliding Center in 1 minute, 46.20 seconds, 0.13 seconds ahead of Pac, who was battling a sore hamstring.

Germany-2, driven by Cathleen Martini, is third.

Defending Olympic gold medalist Sandra Kiriasis of Germany is fifth, one spot ahead of pilots Shauna Rohbock in USA-1 and Bree Schaaf in USA-3.




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