Jeremy Wotherspoon second overall at world sprint championships

HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., won the overall silver medal on Sunday at the world sprint championships in long track speed skating.

Kyou-Hyuk Lee of South Korea successfully defended his title winning both the 500 and 1,000-metre races on Sunday to finish with 139.170 points overall. Wotherspoon was second in the 500 and seventh in the 1,000, for 139.265. Joon Mun of South Korea was third overall at 140.08.

Wotherspoon and Lee went head-to-head in the 1,000 finale for all the marbles. Lee nailed the start, but Wotherspoon caught and passed Lee on the lap.

‘’I was playing a bit of catch up early in the race,’’ said Wotherspoon, a four-time world sprint champion. ‘’But Lee had a pretty strong last lap compared to me. Still I’m happy with the silver medal. I didn’t how this season would unfold and it took me a bit of time to adjust to the ice here, It’s quite different than in Calgary and I just never felt great on it.’’

Wotherspoon sat out last season to contemplate his speed skating future. He had a phenomenal showing at the opening two World Cups and was first overall here after Saturday’s opening 500 and 1,000-metre races.

The sprint title may have actually slipped Wotherspoon’s grasp earlier Sunday in the 500-metre. His pair Jan Bos of the Netherlands fell in front him on the first turn just after the start and did not finish.

‘’I had a mental lapse when Bos fell,’’ said Wotherspoon. ‘’I didn’t really hesitate much but there were a couple of strides where I wasn’t on it like I should have been. I think if I would have stayed focused I would have had a much better time. I was going pretty good at that point.’’

Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was fourth in the 1,000 and 14th in the 500 and took seventh overall. Vincent Labrie of St-Romuald, Que., was 17th overall.

In women’s competition, Germans placed 1-2 overall with Jenny Wolf taking the gold over defending champion Anni Friesinger. Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands was third. Wolf won the 500 race and Ireen Wust of the Netherlands was first in the 1,000.

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg moved to seventh overall placing fifth in the 1,000 and 12th in the 500. Kerry Simpson of Melville, Sask., was 21st overall, Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer 23rd and Tamara Oudenaarden of Edmonton 24th.