Juniors show speed at Canada Post Cup #3

Skaters saw some fast ice conditions at the Olympic Oval on day two of the Canada Post Cup #3 speed skating competition.

Canadian Junior Champion Justine L’Heureux from Quebec picked up a gold in the ladies 3000 metres. The fifteen year old skated the distance in four minutes and 17 seconds. Second place went to Shannon Sibold of Alberta (4.18.12) and third to Marilou Asselin (4.21.65).

A number of juniors placed in the top 10.

“There’s a great field of young female skaters from Alberta posting impressive times and moving up in the national rankings,” said Mark Greenwald, Director of Sport for the Olympic Oval. “It’s great to see such young talent demonstrating their strength in the longer distances and building towards the 2010 Games.”

In the Ladies 1,000 metre, L’Heureux once again placed second to national team member Kerry Simpson of Melville, Saskatchewan. Simpson raced in 1.17.42, L’Heureux in 1.19.02 and Ontario’s Tiffany Hughes in 1.19.48.

For the second day, Quebec racers took top spots in the men’s 500 metre. First place went to Eric Brisson who raced in 35.95 seconds. Jean-Rene Belanger placed second (36.16) and Muncef Ouardi third (36.20).

Quebec’s Francois-Olivier Roberge took first in the men’s 1,000 metre with a one minute and 10.52 second race. Fractions of a second behind were Belanger (1.10.72) and BC’s Jay Morrison (1.10.77), both finishing within the Olympic Trials standard time.

Canada’ top speed skating athletes are competing this weekend at the World Single Distance Champions. Canada’s current medal count stands at five.

Day three of Canada Post Cup #3 begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the Olympic Oval with the Ladies 500 and 1000 metres, Men’s 1000 and 5000 metre and the Ladies Team Pursuit events. Admission is free.