Beaten Shani puts retirement plans on ice

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By Karolos Grohmann

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - American speed skater Shani Davis on Saturday put his retirement plans on ice to take another shot at the showpiece 1,500m event at the 2014 Olympics, after having to settle for silver for the second Games running.

The 1,500m race, nicknamed the King's Race, is the crowning achievement for any speed skater, bringing sprinters and long-distance skaters together.

Davis, the world record holder, decided to stay on after surprisingly losing the gold medal to Dutchman Mark Tuitert. Norwegian Havard Bokko was third.

Four years earlier in Turin it was unknown Italian Enrico Fabris who stunned Davis to top the podium.

"This is my favorite race. I have been wanting to win the 1,500m Olympic gold medal ever since high school and now I find myself twice Olympic runner-up," Davis told reporters.

"With Fabris (in 2006) no one expected it and Bam! Today it was Mark. I wanted to cap off the Olympics with the gold medal in this race so badly."

"But Mark is the king of the hill. He is the king," said Davis, who has already won the 1,000m gold medal in Vancouver.

The Chicagoan said finishing second would keep him in the sport for another four years to give it another, last, try.

"Today hurts but I was just not able to pull it off. I still some day want to win this race. I told myself that if I come away with the gold medal in this I would take a break," he said.

"But this will keep me in skating. It will motivate me and inspire me and hopefully in four years from now at 31 years old I will compete with these up-and-coming young skaters," he said.

"These things happen for a reason and I am sure there is a lesson to learn. I will learn that lesson and will be back in four years."

(Editing by Jon Bramley)