LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – Canada took home not one but two medals in the 3000-metre event in women’s speed skating Monday at the FISU World University Games. Laura Hall from Salmon Arm, B.C. won gold, while Rose-Anne Grenier from Sainte-Marie, Que. took bronze.
The gold and bronze mark the first medals for Canadian women in speed skating all-time at the FISU Winter Games and kicked off a three-medal day for Canada in Lake Placid, with Liz Filiatrault’s bronze in women’s ski cross bringing the nation’s total to five.
Hall started in the last pairing of the event. The biomedical engineering student from the University of Calgary completed her 7.5 laps of the Olympic Oval in 4:25.70, 2.28 seconds ahead of her next competitor.
“I decided to start hard and try not to die too hard. It ended up going pretty well, so I’m happy with it. It started out going good. It really started to hurt, but I made it through the first lap time.”Laura Hall
Hall’s time beat the track record, set by Norwegian skater, Bjorg Eva Jensen in 1980 at the Olympic Winter Games.
“I saw the record beforehand and kind of wanted to aim for that — just started fast and was able to keep the pace long enough to get it. I could hear the announcer throughout the race. I counted two laps to go, I heard that I was on a good pace for that. And then when I crossed the line, I could look on the board and see I’d gotten it.”Laura Hall
Grenier, from Laval University, earned her bronze medal with a time of 4:29.10. Her time was 3.4 seconds behind Hall and 4.27 ahead of the fourth-place racer.
“I couldn’t have asked for better weather and better ice at my first international competition. I can’t ask for anything better in fact! I’m really happy.”Rose-Anne Grenier
Their Canadian teammate, Laurie Cayer finished in 8th with a time of 4:41.01.
The Canadian men and women return to the Oval Tuesday looking to add to their three-medal haul so far in the 1500 metres.