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

London Marathon runners reflect on viral finish-line moment

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A collapsing London Marathon runner who was helped to the finish line and the fellow runner who held him up recounted their inspiring two minutes.

Matthew Rees was rounding the final corner, signifying 200 meters left of the 26.2-mile race, when he saw David Wyeth struggling to stay on his feet on Sunday.

“My mind was like, I need to help this guy,” Rees said on the BBC. “He needs to get to the finish. You’ve come 26 miles, and the finish was just there. For me, it was important to get him to the end and cross together.”

Wyeth said he told Rees to go on without him. Rees declined. Wyeth said, “I’ve got to finish,” and Rees told him, “You will,” according to the Press Association.

“I can’t say how grateful I am to Matthew because you say that, Matthew, that others would have stopped,” Wyeth said on the BBC. “And I’m sure you’re right, that there may have been others, but you persisted.”

Rees held up Wyeth as it took them nearly two minutes to trudge to the finish line. Another person, appearing to be a race volunteer or official, also came over to help.

“It was great if I’ve inspired anyone, but I do think that anyone would’ve done the same thing,” Rees said on the BBC. “If it wasn’t me, it would have been the next runner. It’s just being a human, isn’t it? Seeing someone who’s struggling and helping them out.”

The pair crossed the finish at The Mall together, but with different times as they didn’t start together. Rees’ official time was 2 hours, 52 minutes, 26 seconds. Wyeth clocked 2:51:08.

“The time means absolutely nothing to me,” Wyeth said, according to the Press Association. “I feel a slight fraud for having a [finisher’s] medal around my neck. I should cut a little piece out because it belongs to Matthew.

“I really wouldn’t have got across the line — on my hands and knees, maybe, but the time meant nothing in the end because I know I wouldn’t have got there without Matthew putting his arm around me and carrying me over the line.”

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MORE: Another Russian medal from 2008 Olympics stripped

Another Russian medal from 2008 Olympics stripped

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Russia has been stripped of an eighth women’s track and field medal from the 2008 Beijing Olympics after heptathlete Tatyana Chernova lost her bronze Monday.

A retest of one of Chernova’s doping samples from 2008 came up positive for the banned anabolic steroid turinabol, a common find among the recent string of Russian positive retests.

Chernova was previously stripped of her other two global championship medals — 2011 World gold and 2012 Olympic bronze — after retesting of stored samples.

She was originally fourth in the 2008 Olympic heptathlon but was upgraded to bronze in 2008 when original silver medalist Lyudmila Blonska of Ukraine was stripped for failing a drug test.

Great Britain’s Kelly Sotherton, the original fifth-place finisher in Beijing, is in line to be upgraded to bronze.

Russia originally won 11 women’s track and field medals in Beijing.

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