Wotherspoon adds silver to medal collection at World Cup speed skating competition

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., continued to build his lead in the 500-metre long track speed skating World Cup standings on Sunday with a silver medal performance at the outdoor venue.

Masaaki Kobayashi of Japan took the gold medal clocking 35.23 seconds with Wotherspoon second in 35.30 and Ryohei Shimizu of Japan third in 35.44. A slight wind and warm weather made times a bit slower than on Saturday.

“The ice was still pretty good and I was happy with my race,” said Wotherspoon, who won the 500 and 1,000 metre races on Saturday. “I thought I had posted a faster time. It was a good weekend for me and great way to start the final stretch of the season. Being outdoors was a refreshing change at this point of the year and this venue was very different. It was pretty neat to be here.”

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg fell on the second turn and did not finish. In the B group race, Mark Nielsen of Calgary was first in 35.97, the 14th best time of the day, Brock Miron of Cornwall, Ont., second in 36.15 and James Monson of Calgary fourth.

In the 500 World Cup standings, Wotherspoon has 730 points after eight of 12 races. Dmitri Lobkov of Russia is the closest pursuer at 468 and Ireland is third at 435. Wotherspoon has held the 500 World Cup crown five of the last six seasons including the last two.

The second of three World Cup 100-metre races this season was held Sunday with China’s Fengton Yu taking the men’s gold in 9.52 seconds. Nielsen was seventh, Wotherspoon 11th, Monson 24th and Miron 28th. Ireland hurt his knee in the 500 and chose not to race but should be ready next weekend.

In women’s competition, Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt of Germany won the 500 in 38.86 with Krisy Myers of Calgary, the top Canadian in 20th. In the B group, Kim Weger of Regina was second, Kerry Simpson of Melville, Sask., sixth and Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer seventh.

The women’s 100 was won by Shihomi Shinya of Japan with Myers 10th, Simpson 14th and Wotherspoon 21st.

The next stop on the World Cup for both the sprinters and all around skaters is this Friday to Sunday in Inzell, Germany, also an outdoor venue. Also the world junior long track championships are Friday to Sunday in Roseville, Minnesota. Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg is the defending women’s champion.