Jeremy Wotherspoon surpasses 50-victory plateau with two gold at long track speed skating World Cup

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., earned his 50th and 51st career victories in World Cup long track speed skating competition on Saturday placing first in the 500 and 1,000 metre races at a rare outdoor event.

With the victories, Wotherspoon padded his lead atop the men’s all-time World Cup wins column. Wotherspoon became the most successful male competitor in World Cup history this past December with his 49th triumph in Salt Lake City passing Uwe-Jens Mey of Germany.

In Saturday’s 500, Wotherspoon was dominant clocking 34.89 seconds for his fifth win in seven races this season to increase his lead to 200 points in the event’s World Cup standings. Dmitry Lobkov of Russia was second in 35.07 and Masaaki Kobayashi of Japan third in 35.11.

"The 50 win mark never actually crossed my mind this week," said Wotherspoon. "I was really concerned about starting this trip off on the right foot. I didn’t win in Asia (two stops last month) and I thought I could do better. So I knew the conditions were good here and I thought a 34-second 500 was possible. It was great to follow through on my expectations."

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg, paired with Wotherspoon, was seventh. In the B group race, Mark Nielsen of Calgary was third, James Monson of Calgary sixth and Brock Miron of Cornwall, Ont., 11th.

In the men’s 1,000, Wotherspoon captured his first win this season clocking 1:09.31. Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands was second in 1:09.89 and Kip Carpenter of the U.S., third in 1:09.98.

"I had a great week training in the 1,000 and I was anxious to win again in the event," Wotherspoon said. "I’m probably more happy with this race. It’s been a while since I’ve done a solid 1,000."

Ireland was eighth while in the B group, Miron was eighth, Steven Elm of Red Deer, 16th and Jean-René Bélanger of Sherbrooke, Que., 20th.

In women’s competition, world sprint champion Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands was the star winning the 500 and finishing second to Jennifer Rodriguez of the U.S., in the 1,000.

Kerry Simpson of Melville, Sask., was 15th in the 1,000 and Krisy Myers of Calgary 18th. In the B group Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer was 10th and Kim Weger of Regina 13th. In the 500, Myers was 20th and in the B group Weger was fourth, Simpson fifth and Wotherspoon ninth.

Competition ends Sunday.