Reuters - Sat, 13 Feb 09:57:00 2010
Sven Kramer and Shani Davis, the two skaters expected to dominate the podium in Olympic speed skating, were drawn to race each other in Saturday's opening event, the men's 5,000 meters.
Kramer, the reigning three-times world all-around champion and world record holder in the event, will be matched against the American middle distance favorite in the 11th pairing at the Richmond Olympic Oval.
The match-up might benefit Davis, the 1000m and 1500m world record holder, should he be spurred on to a faster time in trying to keep pace with the Dutchman.
Two groups after that celebrated pairing, comes Italian Enrico Fabris, bronze medalist at the 2006 Turin Games, and Russian Ivan Skobrev.
Chad Hedrick, the 32-year-old American returning to defend his 5,000m title, was drawn to skate in the last pairing with Norway's Havard Bokko.