Double gold for Wotherspoon at speed skating World Cup

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., returned to the scene of his biggest disappointment Saturday and triumphed with gold medals in both the 500 and 1,000 metres at a long track speed skating World Cup sprints competition.

In the 500-metres, Wotherspoon remained unbeaten this season on the World Cup with a fifth straight victory clocking 34.41 seconds. Joji Kato of Japan was second in 34.88 and Erben Wennermars of the Netherlands third in 35.03.

"Being undefeated in the 500 is something I think I’m capable of," said Wotherspoon. "But I’ve won this year without having my best races. Again today I messed up a bit on the last turn after a really good start."

Mark Neilsen of Calgary, a silver medallist Friday in the first ever World Cup 100-metre event, was 12th and James Monson of Winnipeg 16th. Éric Brisson of Ste-Foy, Que., won the B group race in 35.45, the 11th best time of the day. Brock Miron of Calgary was third in the B group.

In the 1,000, Wotherspoon earned his first win this year clocking 1:07.89 with Wennemars second in 1:08.10 and Joey Cheek of the U.S., third in 1:08.20.

Jason Parker of Yorkton, Sask., was ninth. In the B group, Miron was sixth, Monson 10th and Neilsen 12th.

It was here at the 2002 Olympics in February where Wotherspoon surprisingly didn’t win a medal in either the 500 or 1,000. However with his two victories Saturday he now has 42 World Cup career wins, which is third all –time for the men. Uwe-Jens May of East Germany leads at 48 and American Dan Jansen is second all time at 46 World Cup wins.

"Except for the Olympics, I’ve always done well here and I like this building," said Wotherspoon. "So I didn’t think about the Olympics too much today. I had some bad luck at the Games and there’s nothing I can do about it now."

In the women’s 500, Monique Garbrecht-Endfeldt of German took the gold in 37.50 with Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon second in 37.78 and Sayuri Osuga of Japan third in 37.87.

"There were a couple of weird bobbles in the first 20 metres that put me off balance," said Le May Doan, who won her second Olympic gold medal here. "But then I straightened out and skated pretty well. It builds some confidence for the worlds next weekend."

Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was 17th and Kim Weger of Regina was 18th. Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg was 12th in the B group race.

The women’s 1,000 was won by American Jennifer Rodriguez. Le May Doan tied for eighth, Weger was 17th and Myers, 20th. Schussler was fifth in the B group race.

Competition ends Sunday with another set of 500 and 1,000 races.