Sven Kramer, Gerard Kemkers

Sven Kramer splits with coach Gerard Kemkers, shifts focus off 10,000m

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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.

Dutch sweep World Allrounds without Kramer

Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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