Canadian speed skater Philippe Riopel wins silver medal at world junior championships

Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., won the silver medal in the men’s 500-metre on Friday at the world junior championships in long track speed skating.

In the 500, Tae-Bum Mo of South Korea won the gold medal under excellent conditions at the outdoor oval clocking 35.93. Riopel followed in 36.61 and Christoffer Rukke of Norway was third in 36.70.

‘’The 500 is my best distance here so I was hoping to do well,’’ said Riopel, 18. ‘’I had a really good pair and I was able to chase him down and pass him in the final stretch. I’ve come here hoping to get a top-five overall and so far I’m on the right track.’’

Vincent Blouin of Quebec City, third this past summer in the men’s road race at the Canadian cycling championships, was 20th in 38.27 and Jordan Belchos of Markham, Ont., was 41st.

Belchos, 17, bounced back with a superb fourth place finish in the men’s 3,000 clocking 3:57.87. Trevor Marsicano of the U.S., took the gold in 3:52.05, Tim Roelofsen of the Netherlands was second in 3:53.52 and his compatriot Sjoerd de Vries third in 3:56.99.

‘’I was hoping for a top-15 this is totally unexpected,’’ said Belchos, paired with Riopel in the race. ‘I’ve had some strong results at the distance this season and today I just felt very comfortable.’’

Riopel was ninth and Blouin 11th.

Overall after two of four distances, Mo leads at 75.663 points, de Vries is second at 76.268 and Marsicano is third at 76.275. Riopel is fifth at 76.518, Blouin 12th and Belchos 18th.

In women’s competition, Justine L’Heureux of St-Tite, Que., had a solid day placing sixth in the 1,500 and 10th in the 500 to stand seventh overall. She was 14th overall last year.

Lauren van Riessen of the Netherlands, the 500 winner, is first overall at 81.273 points, You-Lim Kim of South Korea second at 81.676 and Natasja Bruintjes of the Netherlands is third at 81.823. Ingeborg Kroon won the 1,500 and is fourth overall.

Nicole Garrido of Edmonton is 14th overall placing 20th in the 500 and 11th in the 1,500 and Kirsty Lay of Medicine Hat, Alta., is 45th.

Competition continues through to Sunday.