Jeremy Wotherspoon wins gold medal at speed skating World Cup

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., earned his third victory this season in the men’s 500-metres on Saturday to open the fourth stop on the long track speed skating circuit for the sprinters.

Wotherspoon clocked 35.20 seconds to finish ahead of Yuka Oikawa of Japan in second at 35.24 and Masaakai Kobayashi of Japan third in 35.34. It was Wotherspoon's 55th career World Cup win, most all time for men. Wotherspoon’s pair Joji Kato of Japan appeared headed to victory but fell on the final turn.

"I don’t think I would have caught Kato but luckily his fall didn’t affect my performance," said Wotherspoon, now tuning up for the world single distance championships next month. "Still I made a lot of mistakes in the race and I wasn’t totally super happy with it. I had one of my better starts but lots of areas need to be improved."

With the victory, Wotherspoon padded his lead atop the 500 Word cup standings with 538 points with three races remaining including one on Sunday. Wotherspoon is seeking a fourth consecutive 500 World Cup title and his seventh in eighth years.

Wotherspoon struggled on his turns in the 1,000 and finished fifth. He is fourth in the 1,000 World Cup standings.

"Everything was solid but nothing was great," said Wotherspoon of his 1,000. "But on the turns I lose some steam. It’s something I need to correct in time for the worlds."

In B group races, Mark Nielsen of Calgary won the 500 in 35.88 with Brock Miron of Calgary seventh, James Monson of Winnipeg ninth and Jean-Rene Belanger of Sherbrooke, Que., 17th. In the 1,000 Miron was ninth, Jay Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., 14th, Bélanger 15th, Jason parker of Yorkton, Sask., 16th

On the women’s side, Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 11th in both the 500 and 1,000 metre races. Rempel, 20, stands fourth in the 1,000 world Cup standings and sixth in the 500 standings.

In B group races, Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg were fourth and eighth in the 1,000 while Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., Kim Weger of Regina and Sarah Smith of Medicine Hat, Alta., were seventh, ninth and 10th in the 500. Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer was 16th in the 500 and 10th in the 1,000.