Jeremy Wotherspoon breaks Canadian record in 500 at World Cup selection meet

CALGARY – Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., celebrated his 31st birthday by breaking his Canadian record in the men’s 500-metre on Friday at the long track speed skating World Cup team selection competition.

Wotherspoon clocked 34.36 to eclipse his previous national mark of 34.37 set here in 2003. Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was second in the race in 35.04 and Mike Ireland of Winnipeg third in 35.12. Wotherspoon also won Thursday’s 500 in 34.51.

‘’It’s my first personal best in four years so I’m pretty happy about it,’’ said Wotherspoon, on the comeback trail after sitting out last season. ‘’The things I did well in yesterday’s 500 I did even better today. But there are still areas I can better, in particular my start.’’

It was also a big day for Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont. She won the 500 and

Christine Nesbitt, Photo: Arno Hoogveld
1,500-metre races on Friday. In the 500, she clocked 38.67 with Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg second in 38.74 and Xiaomei Sheng of China third in 38.95. Kim Weger of Regina was fourth in 39.13.

In the 1,500, Nesbitt upset world record holder Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg clocking 1:54.65. Klassen followed in 1:56.82 and Rempel was third in 1:58.00.

Meanwhile Morrison notched his second win in two days taking the men’s 1,500 in 1:43.65 with Jeff Kitura of Langley, B.C., second in 1:45.57 and Steven Elm of Red Deer in 1:45.61. Morrison also won Thursday’s 1,000.

The selection will help finalize the Canadian team for this fall’s World Cups. Members of last season’s world single distance championship team were pre-selected.

Competition continues through to Sunday at the Olympic Oval.