Wotherspoon earns 49th career World Cup win for number-one overall on men’s list

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., is now the most successful male long track speed skater in World Cup history after he won the gold medal Friday night in the 500-metres at the second stop on this season’s circuit.

Wotherspoon now has 49 career World Cup wins (33 in the 500 and 16 in the 1,000) to move ahead of Uwe Jens Mey of Germany who ended his career in 1992 in with 48 victories. The overall leader is Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann of Germany with 98 career victories in women’s competition. The World Cup circuit in long track speed skating started in 1986.

In Friday’s race, Wotherspoon clocked 34.49 seconds and has won all three 500’s this season and lost but one over the past two seasons. World record holder Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan took the silver in 34.59 and Dmitry Lobkov of Russia was third in 34.83.

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg was fifth in 34.94 and James Monson of Calgary was 18th.

In the men’s 1,000, the Netherlands swept the medals with Erben Wennemars earning the gold medal in 1:07.63. Ireland was fourth in 1:08.47 just 0.10 from a bronze while Wotherspoon was sixth in 1:08.57.

In the women’s 1,000, Jennifer Rodriguez of the U.S., is three-for-three this season after another win in 1:14.06. She also has two 1,500 wins this year.

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg, the 19-year-old world junior champion, was 10th in 1:16.65 and has four top-10 finishes in six races this season.

Earlier Friday she was 18th in the 500, which was won by Shihomi Shinya of Japan. Rempel lost her world junior record in that race when her pair Japan’s Sayuri Yoshii, 19, clocked 38.45 and placed 10th eclipsing Rempel’s 38.53 standard set last year. Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was 18th.

Competition ends Saturday.