Wotherspoon reigns supreme in sprints

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., earned a fourth title in five years and Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg surged to second overall on the women’s side Sunday at the long track speed skating world sprint championships.

Wotherspoon remained undefeated this season in the 500 earning an eighth straight win in 34.49 just missing his track record and personal best set on Saturday. In the 1,000 he placed third to total 137.230 points. Gerard van Velde of the Netherlands was second at 137.830 and his compatriot Erben Wennemars was third at 138.150.

`` To win the title again shows that I’ve taken the necessary steps to stay on top and improve every year,`` said Wotherspoon, 26. ``It’s also a tribute to our program and coaches who are always making sure we keep pushing the envelope. And it’s nice to know there’s still more there.``

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg posted his best races this season with sixth places in both 500’s this weekend for ninth overall. Ireland has battled a groin injury this winter. He was the 2001 champion which means the title has been in Canadian hands five straight years.

James Monson of Winnipeg was 18th overall and Brock Miron of Calgary 21st.

In women’s competition, Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt of Germany earned gold in all four races this weekend for the overall gold with 150.225 points. Klassen finished second in the 1,000 with a personal best 1:14.71 and catapulted from sixth spot overall after Saturday’s races to finish second at 151.925.

``This is unexpected,`` said Klassen, a gold medal contender for the world all around championships later this month which focuses on the longer distances. ``There were a few people ahead of me that I never thought I’d catch.``

Defending champion Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon who has battled back and hip problems this season finished seventh overall after placing sixth in the 500 and 16th in the 1,000. Le May Doan also won the world sprint crown in 1998.

"It's obviously not the way I wanted to skate here but it was all I had -- it was just more effort than I could give and it wasn't going into the ice," she said.

Shannon Rempel, 18, of Winnipeg showed her potential as she broke her world junior record for overall points placing 14th at 154.480. She also lowered her Canadian junior record in the 500 for the second straight day finishing 17th in 38.79.

``I learned a lot about competing under pressure,`` said Rempel, who’ll chase gold next month at the world juniors.


Sunday’s results at the long track speed skating world sprint championships:

MEN

500: 1. Jeremy Wotherspoon, Red Deer, Alta., 34.49; 2. Gerard van Velde, Netherlands, 34.61; 3. Hiroyasu Shimizu, Japan, 34.67; 4.Joey Cheek, U.S., 34.87; 5. Erben Wennemars, Netherlands, 34.96; 6. Mike Ireland, Winnipeg, 34.99; 7. Jan Bos, Netherlands, 35.01; 8. Kyou Hyuk Lee, South Korea, 35.08; 9. Kip Carpenter, U.S., and Dmitry Lobkov, Russia, 35.17.

Other Canadians: 12. James Monson, Winnipeg, 35.22; 16. Brock Miron, Calgary, 35.63.

1,000: 1. Cheek, 1:07.95; 2. Wennemars, 1:07.98; 3. Wotherspoon, 1:08.25; 4. van Velde, 1:08.43; 5. Beorn Nijenhuis, Netherlands, 1:08.53; 6. Lee, 1:08.76; 7. Bos, 1:08.81; 8. Janne Hanninen, Finland, 1:08.87; 9. Carpenter, 1:09.00; 10. Shimizu, 1:09.07.

Other Canadians: 14. Ireland, 1:09.59; 20. Miron, 1:10.74; 21. Monson, 1:10.78.

Overall (final): 1. Wotherspoon, 137.230; 2. van Velde, 137.830; 3. Wennemars, 138.150; 4. Cheek, 138.230; 5. Shimizu, 138.365; 6. Lee, 139.085; 7. Bos, 139.215; 8. Carpenter, 139.415; 9. Ireland, 139.525; 10. Hanninen 139.550.

Other Canadians: 18. Monson, 142.050; 21. Miron, 142.775.


WOMEN

500: 1. Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt, Germany, 37.75; 2. Manli Wang, China, 37.96; 3. Shihomi Shinya, Japan, 38.05; 4. Jenny Wolf, Germnay, 38.06; 5. Sayuri Osuga, Japan, 38.10; 6. Catriona Le May Doan, Saskatoon, 38.13; 7. Andrea Nuyt, Netherlands, 38.25; 8. Pamela Zoellner, Germany, 38.32; 9. Anzhelika Kotyuga, Belarus, 38.33; 10. Marianne Timmer, Netherlands, 38.34.

Other Canadians: 11. Cindy Klassen, Winnipeg, 38.41; 17. Shannon Rempel, Winnipeg, 38.79.

1,000: 1. Garbrecht-Enfeldt, 1:14.54; 2. Klassen, 1:14.71; 3. Jennifer Rodriguez, U.S., 1:14.97; 4. Kotyuga, 1:15.55; 5. Timmer, 1:15.57; 6. Becky Sundstrom, U.S., 1:15.67; 7. Pamela Zoelnner, Germany, 1:15.87; 8. Chris Witty, U.S., 1:15.90; 9. Shinya, 1:16.11; 10. Wang, 1:16.23.

Other Canadian: 11. Rempel, 1:16.46; 16. Le May Doan, 1:17.06.

Overall (final): 1. Garbrecht-Enfeldt, 150.225; 2. Klassen, 1:51.925; 3. Shinya, 151.980; 4. Wang, 1:51.985; 5. Rodriguez, 152.310; 6. Kotyuga, 152.490; 7. Le May Doan, 152.780; 8. Timmer, 152.895; 9. Osuga, 153.105; 10. Nuyt, 153.110.

Other Canadian: 14. Rempel, 154.480 (world junior record).