Oudenaarden & Derraugh Top Canadians in Obihiro

Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) and Tyler Derraugh (Winnipeg, MB) were the highest ranking Canadians on the first day of the Long Track World Sprint Championships today, in Obihiro, Japan.

Oudenaarden is currently ranked 15th in the preliminary Ladies’ Classification after round one of the 500m and 1000m events, where she skated to 12th and 20th place finishes, respectively.

Derraugh sits in 18th place in the preliminary Men’s Classifications after having finished 21st in the 500m and 17th in the 1000m events in round one.

“The 500m went really well! I do still have some work to do and it wasn’t perfect, but I’m happy, it was a really good race for me,” commented Oudenaarden, member of the Canadian Olympic Long Track Speed Skating Team. “In the 1000m I had a solid start; I was less fast and aggressive than I would have liked to be, but I’m still pretty happy with it.”

Korean skater Sang-Hwa Lee was the fastest on the ice in the 500m event, with a time of 38.19, while Japan’s Sayuri Yoshii took top honours in the 1000m event in 1:17.26. Oudenaarden’s time for the 500m was 39.21, while her 1000m event clocked in at 1:19.42.

Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) skated to a 16th place finish in the 500m in a time of 39.53, and came 25th in the 1000m in a time of 1:20.19.

“It’s definitely one of my objectives to finish in the top-16, but I don’t want to focus too much on my classification, I just want to continue to skate and race well,” confided the skater.

Derraugh, who is at his first World Cup as a senior skater, is taking advantage of this new experience. “It’s a great experience, and I’m learning a lot; I’m trying to get as much out it as possible! Aside from a few small mistakes, generally speaking, everything went really well today (Saturday).”

Japanese skater Keiichiro Nagashima skated fastest in the 500m event in 35.01; Korea’s Kyou-Hyuk Lee took the men’s 1000m event in a time of 1:09.44. Derraugh skated the 500m event in 36.05, and the 1000m event in 1:11.63.

Other Canadian results are: William Dutton (Humboldt, SK) who finished 23rd in the 500m event in 36.08, but who was disqualified in the 1000m; Vincent Labrie (Saint-Romulad, QC) 24th in the 500m in 36.10, and 34th in the 1000m event in a time of 1:13.32; and Matthew McLean (Winnipeg, MB) who finished 39th in the 500m after a fall, and 23rd in the 1000m in a time of 1:12.13.

Derraugh is aiming for a top-16 finish in the second round of both the 500m and 1000m events at the World Sprint Championships, which continue this Sunday. “I want to try to maintain the same concentration and the same game-plan as today. I’d like to improve on just a few little things without changing everything.”