Gilmore Junio wins gold medal at World Cup in Salt Lake City

Gilmore Junio wins gold medal at World Cup in Salt Lake City

Calgarian shares top spot on podium with Japan’s Joji Kato

Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 15, 2013 – Gilmore Junio of Calgary won his first World Cup race on Friday, blazing his way to a finish of 34.258 seconds in the men’s 500m at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating long-track event in Salt Lake City.

Junio, who is in his fourth year of international competition, recorded the same time as Joji Kato of Japan, to the thousandths of a second. Officials could not determine a winner after reviewing the photo finishes, so they both received gold medals. Michel Mulder of the Netherlands got the bronze.

“I’m pretty through the roof right now,” Gilmore, a 23-year-old kinesiology student at the University of Calgary, said moments after the podium ceremony. “It’s a really good confidence booster going into the Olympic trials and the Olympics.”

Junio beat his previous personal best time of 34.53 in winning his second medal on the World Cup circuit. He captured a silver in the 500m in Nagano, Japan, on Dec. 9, 2012. “The way our team is performing, especially our 500m guys, I think we have a really good chance to do something special at the Olympics. Hopefully we can keep it going,” Junio added.

Junio’s win followed a pair of bronze medal performances in the 500m by Jamie Gregg of Edmonton at the season-opening World Cup in Calgary Nov. 8-10. Gregg finished seventh on Friday; Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., was 17th.

The Salt Lake City Olympic Oval produced a world record in the women’s 500m. Sang-Hwa Lee of Korea again bettered her mark with a 36.57. She put up a 36.74 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary last weekend, topping her previous record of 36.80, which was also recorded in Calgary in January, 2013.

Denny Morrison, of Fort St. John, B.C., challenged for the podium in the men’s 1500m with a fifth-place time of 1:42.79, missing a bronze by 0.51 seconds. Lucas Makowsky of Regina was 19th.

Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg finished 14th in the women’s 3000m in 4:04.50.

“My 3000m today was probably one of the best races I’ve had in years,” Schussler said. “I know that my ranking is nearly not as high as I want it, but for the first time since before the Vancouver Olympics, I actually feel like I’m a contender for the podium. Three seconds off the podium is exciting. I definitely have room to improve, but it was a great day.”

Also on Friday, Alex-Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que., was a strong second in the men’s B 500m. Alexandre St-Jean of Quebec City was sixth.

Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., was seventh in the women’s B 500m, followed by Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg of Red Deer, Alta., in eighth, Marsha Hudey of Regina 10th, Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg 13th and Kaylin Irvine of Calgary 19th.

Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, Alta., was the top Canadian in the women’s B 3000m in 18th. Nicole Garrido of Edmonton was 22nd and Ivanie Blondin and Lauren McGuire, both of Ottawa, 24th and 32nd respectively.

In the men’s B 1500m, Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was seventh, Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-trembles, Que., ninth, and Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, Ont., 21st.

Follow the World Cup races results at www.isuresults.eu.

SPEED SKATING CANADA’S ROSTER FOR SALT LAKE CITY (Nov 15 to 17):

Women

500m — Christine Nesbitt, London, Ont.; Marsha Hudey, Regina, Sask.; Danielle Wotherspoon-Gregg, Red Deer, Alta.; Kaylin Irvine, Calgary; Shannon Rempel, Winnipeg.

1000m — Christine Nesbitt; Kaylin Irvine; Kali Christ, Regina, Sask.; Brittany Schussler, Winnipeg; Heather McLean, Winnipeg; Shannon Rempel.

1500m — Christine Nesbitt; Kali Christ; Brittany Schussler; Brianne Tutt, Airdrie, Alta.; Josie Spence, Kamloops, B.C.

3000m — Ivanie Blondin, Ottawa; Brittany Schussler; Lauren McGuire, Ottawa; Brianne Tutt; Nicole Garrido, Edmonton.

Men

500m — Jamie Gregg, Edmonton; Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, Sherbrooke, Que.: Gilmore Junio, Calgary; Laurent Dubreuil, Levis, Que.; Alexandre St- Jean, Quebec City.

1000m — Denny Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C.; Jamie Gregg; Alex Boisvert-Lacroix; Gilmore Junio; Tyler Derraugh, Winnipeg.

1500m — Denny Morrison; Lucas Makowsky, Regina; Richard MacLennan, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; Mathieu Giroux, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.; Vincent De Haître, Cumberland, Ont.

5000m — Lucas Makowsky; Jordan Belchos, Toronto; Mathieu Giroux.