Jeremy Wotherspoon remains undefeated in 500 at World Cup speed skating event

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., rocketed to his fourth straight victory this season in the 500 metres to conclude the second stop on long track speed skating World Cup circuit while Mark Nielsen of Calgary added silver in the men’s 100-metre sprint.

Wotherspoon, who gained top spot in the career World Cup victories for men this weekend, topped the field with a 34.45 second clocking and is four-for-four this season in the event. He has lost the 500 only once in the past two seasons. Dmitry Lobkov of Russia was second in 34.51 and world champion Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan was third at 34.61.

National team coach Neal Marshall of Calgary says Wotherspoon can deliver a top performance under almost any condition.

"When he comes to the start line mentally he does the same thing every time, no matter how he feels," said Marshall. "He gives it his best effort and executes the best he can, even if his legs may feel a little bit off. That’s why he is so consistent. It’s also a great example to the rest of the team."

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg was seventh and James Monson of Calgary 21st. In the B group race, Mark Nielsen of Calgary was fourth and Brock Miron of Cornwall, Ont., sixth.

In the men’s 100, a knock-out round event that started last year, Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan took the gold medal in 9.43 seconds defeating Nielsen in a three-man final who clocked 9.46 and Joji Kato of Japan who posted a 9.64

"Shimizu is one of my heroes and a big reason I got into speed skating," said Nielsen, who won gold and silver in the two 100-metre World Cup races last season. "This was my first opportunity to race him head-on and that was probably the most special part for me."

In the women’s 500, Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands took the gold in 38 seconds flat with Manli Wang of China second in 38.14 and Shihomi Shinya of Japan third in 38.15.

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 16th. In the B group race, Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was second, Kim Weger of Regina fifth, Sarah Smith of Medicine Hat, Alta., ninth and Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, 11th.

Smith was also 15th in the women’s 100 sprint which was won by Sayuri Osuga of Japan.