Gold medal for Jeremy Wotherspoon at speed skating World Cup

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., earned his first victory this season on Sunday clocking a track record for the gold medal in the men’s 500-metres at a long track speed skating World Cup competition.

Wotherspoon took the gold in 34.91 seconds, the first sub-35 second time on the Pettit National Ice Centre. Dmitri Dorofeyev of Russia was second in 35.09 and Casey FitzRandolph of the U.S., and Kang-Seok Lee of South Korea tied for third in 35.15.

“I built a lot of speed coming out of the first turn and the last 300 was really solid,” said Wotherspoon, who added to his career-leading World Cup wins total for men with his 55th victory. “I had the last inner today which is usually the harder turn to hold and it went really smoothly. I was pretty happy with that.”

Brock Miron of Calgary was 15th.

Lee still leads the 500 World Cup standings with 330 points after four of 12 races. Wotherspoon, who has won the title the last four years is second at 310. He earned bronze medals in the three other 500 races this year.

“Being this consistent is pretty big for me,” said Wotherspoon. “I haven’t felt totally on physically or technically so far this year. But I’ve still been able to respond to the challenge which is a really good sign for later in the season when I’ll be at my best.”

In the men’s 1,000, the Americans swept the podium with Shani Davis first in 1:08.43, Joey Cheek second in 1:08.68 and FitzRandolph third in 1:09.11. Wotherspoon followed in fourth in 1:09.15. Miron was 17th.

Wotherspoon was interfered by his pair Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands on the first crossover in the 1,000. Groothuis was disqualified.

“I contemplated during the race whether I should ease up and re-skate but I was skating so well,” said Wotherspoon. “It’s extremely rare to a get a faster time on a re-skate. It’s really difficult to know how much the crossover problem affected my final time.”

Davis has won all four 1,000 metre races this year and leads the standings at 400 points. Wotherspoon, second in Saturday’s race, is second at 270.

In the B Group races, Mark Nielsen of Calgary was second and Vincent Labrie of Ste-Foy, Que., ninth.

In women’s competition, Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was the top Canadian placing 10th in the 1,000 and 13th in the 500.

In the women’s 500 B group race, Kim Weger of Regina was fifth, Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was eighth and Marilou Asselin of Ste-Foy, Que., 16th.