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updated: 2/12/2014 6:13 AM

5,000 champion Kramer to skip 1,500 meters

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Associated Press

SOCHI, Russia -- Speedskater Sven Kramer has decided to withdraw from the 1,500 meters next Saturday to fully concentrate on the 10,000 for his second gold of the games.

Kramer won the 5,000 and is a hot favorite to win the long distance race and lead the Netherlands to gold in the team pursuit during the concluding weekend.

He said Wednesday that the 1,500 would likely be too much of a distraction during his preparation for the 10,000 on Feb. 18, which he is determined to win after a costly blunder at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Four years ago, gold was seemingly assured until his coach sent him into the wrong lane on a crossover and Kramer was disqualified.

Kramer says skipping the 1,500 was "a very tough decision."

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