Sven Kramer splits with coach Gerard Kemkers, shifts focus off 10,000m
Sven Kramer is parting with his longtime coach, Gerard Kemkers, and will focus on the 1500m and 5000m going forward, he said at a press conference Friday, according to Dutch reports.
Kramer, 27, and Kemkers are best known together for the 2010 Olympic 10,000m, where Kemkers directed Kramer to incorrectly change lanes near the end of the race. Kramer followed his advice and was disqualified after finishing in Olympic record time.
They stuck together going to Sochi, where Kramer attempted to rectify that mistake. But he finished second to Dutch teammate Jorrit Bergsma in the 10,000m at Adler Arena.
Kramer said he had fantastic years with Kemkers in their nine years together but that he wanted to try something new, according to Dutch reports.
Kramer recently had respiratory surgery but has said his goal is to continue skating through the 2018 Olympics. He’s a seven-time medalist over three Olympics and has won the last six World Allround Championships that he entered.
Only German woman Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann has won more World Allround Championships than Kramer with eight.
Kramer shifting focus away from the 10,000m and toward the 1500m is intriguing as it could set up showdowns with American star Shani Davis, a two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time world champion in the event.
Kramer’s only World Championships or Olympic 1500m medal came at 2008 worlds, a silver shared with Davis. He finished 15th and 13th in the 1500m at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics and opted not to skate it in Sochi.