Sprint Saturday at Olympic Oval Finale

CALGARY – Sprinters took to the ice on day four of the Olympic Oval Finale.

Krisy Myers, of Lloydminster took first place in the Ladies 500-metre event, skating in 39 seconds. Close behind were Japan’s Aya Kajiki and Sarah Smith of Medicine Hat.

In a close finish, Japanese skaters captured first and second place in the ladies’ 1,000 metre race. Nao Kodaira skated in one minute and 18.9 seconds, followed by Kajiki who raced in a time of 1.18.56. Danielle Wotherspoon, from Red Deer, finished a close third in 1.18.69.

In the men’s 500 metre, Japan’s Kuniomi Hanesishi raced to first in 35.43 seconds. Quebec’s Eric Brisson tied for second with Korea’s Soon-Chun Kwon, both crossing the line in 38.81 seconds. In the 1000m, Quebec’s Francois-Olivier Roberge raced in 1.09.58 to take first, fractions of a second ahead of BC’s Denny Morrison (1.09.59). Quebec’s Vincent Labrie finished in third place (1.10.17).

In the open competition, BC’s Jay Morrison raced the 1000 metre distance in 1.10.21 for a first place finish. Morrison was followed by Dutch skaters Wouter Oldeheuvel (1.10.84) and Michael Kaatee (1.11.14).

Austria’s Anna Rokita posted the top time in the ladies’ open 1000-metre event (1.18.59). Second place went to Japan’s Minatsu Ondera (1.19.14) and third to Quebec’s Justine L’Heureux, the current Canadian Junior Champion. L’Heureux raced in 1.20.41.

In the team pursuit, the Morrison brothers teamed up with national teammate Justin Warsylewicz (SK) to post the top time of the event – a three minutes and 50.55 second finish. In the ladies team pursuit, the threesome of Sara Lang, Crystal Phillips and Kylee Toth finished ahead of the pack with a 3.20.06 finish. All three athletes also race competitively in short track speed skating. The team pursuit will debut as an Olympic sport in the 2006 Torino Winter Games.

The final day of the Olympic Oval Finale is Sunday. Races begin at 9 a.m. Admission is free.

For more information, contact:

Yvonne Turgeon

Olympic Oval Communications

(403) 210-8568