Winnipeg speed skater Shannon Rempel wins first career World Cup medal, Wotherspoon gets bronze

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg earned her first career World Cup medal on Saturday placing second in the women’s 1,000 metres to open the second stop on the long track speed skating World Cup circuit for sprinters.

Anzhelika Kotyuga of Belarus took the gold medal clocking in 1:18.16 while Rempel, at only her fourth World Cup event in the past two seasons, followed in 1:18.48. Chiara Simionato of Italy was third in 1:18.60.

The 20-year-old Rempel and Kotyuga raced head-on in the sixth of 10 pairs in the main draw.

In the group2 seedings, Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was fourth, Kim Weger of Regina seventh, Sarah Smith of Medicine Hat, Alta., 11th, and Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., 12th.

In the men’s 500-metre, Pekka Koskela of Finland was the surprise winner clocking 35.38 with Joji Kato of Japan second in 35.53 and Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer third in 35.60. It was Wotherspoon’s third World Cup medal this season in three 500 races.

In the group 2 500, Calgarians Mark Nielsen, Brock Miron and James Monson were ninth, 12th and 13th respectively and Sterling Sobczak of Winnipeg 19th.

Wotherspoon was also eighth in the men’s 1,000 in which the Netherlands finished 1-2 with Beorn Nijenhuis first and Simon Kuipers second. In group two Miron was ninth, Jean-René Bélanger of Sherbrooke, Que., 12th and Sobczak 17th.

In the women’s 500, Menli Wang of China earned a third straight win while Rempel took seventh spot. In group 2, Myers was fourth, Danielle Wotherspoon fifth, Tiffany Hughes of Kingston, Ont., eighth and Weger ninth.

Competition ends Sunday.