Olympic Oval Finale celebrates 15th season

More than 250 athletes from 14 different countries are taking part in the 15th annual Olympic Oval Finale. A number of young skaters raced to personal best times on day one of the competition.

“The Finale has a long history here at the Oval and we’re excited to celebrate our 15th year,” said Mark Greenwald, Director of Sport at the Olympic Oval. “The Finale still holds true to its original concept – a competition where not only the world’s best can take part and chase world records, but a competition where young developing athletes compete on the same ice, in close proximity, with the best.”

Canadian athletes and Saskatchewan teammates Kerry Simpson, Dustin Johnston and Mark Jesney all raced within the Olympic Trials Time Standard. Simpson’s 39.14-second race placed her in second to Netherlands’ Annette Gerritsen in the Ladies’ 500 metre - all around short. Fifth and sixth place in the Men’s 5000 metre, Johnston and Jesney both raced to new personal best times.

Odd Borgersen (Norway) took first place in the Men’s 5,000 metre followed by Sicco Janmaat (Netherlands) and Arild Ervik (Norway). In the 500 metre - all around long, Quebec’s Francois-Olivier Roberge and Muncef Ouardi were first and second ahead of Janmaat. Austria’s Thomas Falger placed first, Kazhakstan’s Alexandr Zhicin second and BC’s Jay Morrison third in the men’s 500 metre - all around short. In the men’s 1500 metre, Norway’s Morten Stordal took first, Quebec’s Vincent Labrie second and Ontario’s Cailean Duggan third.

Third place in the Ladies 500 metre - all around short went to Netherlands’ Ireen Wuust. Austria’s Anna Rokita dominated in the 500 metre - all around long, taking first ahead of Japan’s Minatsu Onodera and Quebec’s Justine L’Heureuz. In the Ladies’ 1500 metre, Nao Kodaira of Japan edged out Ontario’s Tiffany Hughes and Alberta’s Kristi Lay. Lay posted a personal best, racing the distance in two minutes and 3.93 seconds.

Rokita took a second gold in the Ladies 3,000 metre. Maria Lamb from the United Stakes skated to second and Shannon Sibold of Alberta took third.

Since the inception of the Olympic Oval Finale, more than 100 World and World Junior Records have been set during the competition. A $10,000 prize purse is posted for any skaters setting a Senior World Record at this event. Racing continues at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 9:00 am on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, contact:

Yvonne Turgeon

Olympic Oval Communications

(403) 210-8568