Exciting start at the Can Am Speed Skating Competition

The 15th annual Can Am long track speed skating competition kicked-off today with the Sprint competition. This event has grown into an exciting four-day international competition with close to 200 athletes taking over the Olympic Oval.

In the men’s 500m event, Korea’s Kyou-Hyuk Lee (35.94) and Jae-Bong Choi (35.97) finished first and second, respectively. China’s Zhou Lu was third with a time of 36.16. Canadian National Development Team members Sterling Sobczak, Ian Houghton and Jean-Rene Belanger captured the sixth through eighth position finishes. Houghton finished second in the 1000m today with a time of 1:11.45. Choi was first (1:10.56), while Korean teammate Lee was third (1:11.53). Belanger was fifth and Sobczak was sixth.

In the women’s 500m distance, Anzhelika Kotyuga (BLG) finished first with a 38.70 while China’s Xin Zhao (38.96) and Dan Wang (39.96) were second and third, respectively. Alberta skater Marie-Josee Ares-Pilon finished sixth. Kotyuga finished first in the 1000m today with a time of 1:17.19, followed by Zhao (1:18.55) in second. Norway’s Linda Olsen skated a 1:20.36. Alberta’s Selina Elm was seventh.

Tomorrow will feature 2003 World Sprint Champion Jeremy Wotherspoon paired with 2002 Olympic Gold Medallist Casey FitzRandolph in the 500m at 10:00am.

The Sprint competition will wrap-up on Friday, while Saturday and Sunday will continue with the All Round Long and All Round Short competitions. Races begin at 9:00am daily and admission is free. For complete results, please visit www.oval.ucalgary.ca

Running from November 27 – 30, the Can Am will feature fast times and exciting action as skaters prepare for the Essent ISU World Cup Speed Skating at the Olympic Oval December 6th and 7th.

For further information contact:
Anne Reeves Judin
Communications Specialist