Saskatchewan dominates long track speed skating at Canada Games

Saskatchewan speed skaters dominated the podium at the Canada Games on Tuesday, sweeping the women's 1500-metre skate and also taking the gold in the men's 3000-metre event.

Kerry Simpson of Melville, Sask., easily outpaced her rivals in the 1,500-metre long track with a new Canada Games record of two minutes 24.70 seconds.

Simpson lowers the mark of 2:26.79 set by Chantal Cote of Québec at the 1995 Canada Games in Grand Prairie, Alberta

Saskatchewan captured the other two podium spots, as Chelsea Parker took silver with her time of 2:28.39 and Alexandra Wrubleski won the bronze in 2:30.91.

“I’m really happy with my performances thus far”, stated Simpson.

“The 1500-metre and the 1000-metre are my best events and my favorite races, so I was looking forward to having a good one today”.

In the men's 3000-metre long track, Tyler Johnston of Moose Jaw, Sask., won with a time of 4:32. Johnston missed a Canada Games record by .50 of a second.

“The first couple laps felt really good but the wind really took its toll on me in the last half of the race”, Johnston said.

“I started out pretty hard so I had some good lap times to start out with, so it set me up pretty well for the race”.

Meanwhile, Quebec speed skaters finally broke the ice Tuesday, taking two medals in the 3,000-metre final after being shut out in three previous events.

Francois-Olivier Roberge of St-Nicolas, Que., won silver in the 3,000 metres finishing three seconds behind Johnston.

The bronze went to Laurent Lemieux of Quebec City.

Competition continues Wednesday with the men’s 1500 and 5000 metres as well as the women’s 1000 and 3000 metres.