Jeremy Wotherspoon fifth in 1,000-metres at long track speed skating world sprint championships

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., was the top Canadian Saturday at the long track speed skating world championships placing fifth in the men’s 1,000-metres but knocked himself out of contention for an overall medal when he slipped earlier in the 500.

In the 500, Wotherspoon experienced difficulties with his start and didn’t get untracked properly although he did finish the race. A four-time world sprint champion, Wotherspoon had earned an overall medal at the last eight world sprints including second place finishes the last two years.

‘’As soon as I pushed, the ice broke and the blade just slid straight back,’’ said Wotherspoon. ‘’I tried to get going again but I was all twisted an off balance. By that point I was too far behind.’’

Dmitry Dorofeyev of Russia, the 500 winner and third in the 1,000, leads the overall standings after two of four races with 69.745 points. Joey Cheek of the U.S., second in both races, stands second overall at 69.815 and Jan Bos of the Netherlands the 1,000 winner and third in the 500 is third at 69.845.

Brock Miron of Calgary is 21st overall and Jean-René Bélanger of Sherbrooke, Que., 29th. The 500-metre troubles pushed Wotherspoon to 49th.

Wotherspoon isn’t in peak condition yet as he puts the finishing touches on his preparations for the Olympics next month, but is gunning for medal performances this weekend.

‘’I was feeling pretty good this week,’’ he said. ‘’In the 500 I was the last pair and I thought the times were definitely beatable. I was looking forward to this competition. I’ll have another shot in the 500 tomorrow (Sunday) and if I race my best, I can definitely be in the medals.’’

Wotherspoon came back with a fifth place finish in the 1,000.

‘’I was bit tentative at the start because of the 500,’’ he said. ‘’But afterwards I had a good race. I was a bit tired at the end but that’s just the result of the training period we’re in right now.’’

On the women’s side, Svetlana Zhurova of Russia was third in both the 500 and 1,000 to stand first overall at 76.950. Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands is second at 77.070 highlighted by a second place in the 1,000. Manli Wang of China, the 500 winner, is third at 77.170. Chiara Simionato of Italy won the 1,000 and is fourth overall.

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg is 13th overall placing ninth in the 1,000 and 17th in the 500, Kerry Simpson of Melville, Sask., was 10th in the 1,000 to climb to 19th overall and Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., is 28th overall.

Competition ends Sunday with another set of 500 and 1,000 metre races for men and women.