Records continue to fall at Canada Games Oval

Another extremely successful start to the day at the Canada Winter Games Oval in Halifax. The women were the first up having to skate the first of two 500m in what was described as a very chilly morning. The winds were much stronger than the previous day but the athletes rose to the occasion by setting a new record in the event. With her first attempt at the distance, Jennessa Kemp (Alberta) broke the Canada Games record with a time of 43.01. The old record set in 2003 was 44.69. Eight skaters in the race skated under the Canada Games record time.

The second 500m race saw a repeat winner as Jennessa Kemp broke her previous time by skating 42.09 establishing a new Canada Games record. This time around, eleven skaters skated under the 500 time set in 2003. The combined results of the two 500 m races resulted in Jenenessa winning the gold with fellow team mates Isabel Dilger (Alberta) and Kate Hanly (Alberta) taking the silver and bronze.

The winds combined with a -9c temperature produced a cool -16 windchill. That didn’t stop the men from conquering the 1500m by setting another Canada Games record. With the old record being 2:02.23, Antoine Gelineas-Beaulieu (Quebec) skated a very impressive time of 1:59.03. After winning the gold yesterday in the men’s 3000m as well as a silver in the 500m, he has now established the time to beat for the next up and coming athletes that will participate in future Canada Winter Games. His team mates Laurent Dubreuil (Quebec) and Francois Dery (Quebec) stood alongside him on the podium with silver and bronze medals.

The men’s team from Quebec lead the medal count as Laurent and Antoine each have three medals at these Games while Francois has earned two. They are the skaters to watch in the next couple of days as they still have the 5000, 100 and team pursuit to complete.

With the temperatures slowly starting to climb, the men took to the ice to race the very fast 100m sprint.

Given all the records that have already been broken at this oval, the 100 proved to be no exception. Some new players in the medal hunt have emerged as the fans thoroughly enjoyed the power that these young up and comers could produce.
Finishing first in what will be his first of three 100m attempts was Laurent Dubreuil with a time of 10.02. The record which was set in Whitehorse in 2007 was 10.03.
Second spot is currently held by Elliott Hewson from Manitoba with a time of 10.25. He had a superb race powering through to the finish. Asked how it was, he said “better now that it’s over!”. Elliott false started but still managed to stay calm and finish his pair with the fastest time.

The surprise of the event is Evan Taras from Nova Scotia. He skated an excellent time of 10.62 and is currently tied for 9th spot. The fans at the oval screamed and yelled as they truly appreciated the effort that he put in to this very tough distance.

The next round of the 100m continues on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 with the semi-finals beginning at 10:15 followed by the gold medal final at 11:45.

The final event of the day was the Women’s 1500m. Despite the cold and wind that was felt throughout the day, it did manage to get a little less windy and a just little warmer.

The girls all skated exceptional times and just like Saturday and Sunday morning a new Canada Games record was set. Being the last distance of the day, team mates flocked to the sidelines to cheer on the athletes.

The Alberta girls which have proven to be very strong at these Games once again found their way to the top of the podium. Finishing first with a time of 2:15.35, Jennessa Kemp earned her second gold of the day. Her time was more than good enough to break the old Games record which was 2:24.70.

Team mate Kate Hanly earned the silver with a time of 2:18.10. Finishing with a time of 2:18.56 Tori Spence (B.C) won her second bronze medal of these Games.
Tomorrows’ events will see the longest distances being raced. The men take on the 5000m while the women do the 3000m. One thing is for sure, the ice is fast and if the weather holds, we could see more records fall.