Lee Seung-hoon Must Smash Dutch Wall to Retain 10,000-m Title

      February 18, 2014 10:38

      Speed skater Lee Seung-hoon, who won the men's 10,000 m at the Vancouver Games in 2010, will compete against Sven Kramer of the Netherlands in the penultimate pair on Tuesday in Sochi, Russia.

      The event is considered the marathon of the sport, with skaters required to make 25 laps of the 400-m rink.

      Lee rode his luck to victory four years ago as Kramer was disqualified for not changing lanes properly despite having clocked the fastest time. Kramer skated along the inner lane twice due to mistaken instructions from his coach.

      Lee, who also claimed silver in the 5,000 m in Vancouver, finished a disappointing 12th here on Feb. 8 with a time of 6:25.61. "I wasn't relaxed from the beginning," he said after the race. 

      Speed skater Lee Seung-hoon reacts after his 5,000-m race at the Adler Arena Skating Center in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 8.

      Skaters from the Netherlands swept the podium in the 5,000 m, with Kramer successfully defending his title, Jan Blokhuijsen winning silver, and Jorrit Bergsma taking bronze.

      As the Dutch team is going for another clean sweep of the podium in the 10,000 m, Lee will have his work cut out for him heading into the event.

      Kramer, who is regarded as a hero in his homeland, is favored to win. He has even ditched the 1,500 m to focus on the longer event and exact revenge for his loss four years ago. The Dutchman is hoping to pocket three gold medals in Sochi by adding another title in the team pursuit.

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