Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel earns second medal at speed skating World Cup

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg stepped on the podium for the second straight day on Sunday with a bronze medal in the women’s 1,000 metres to conclude the fifth stop on the long track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Chiara Simionato of Italy took the gold in one minute and 17.14 seconds edging Olympic champion Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands in second at 1:17.33. Rempel, who earned her first career World Cup in Saturday’s 1,000, followed at 1:17.69.

‘’It’s been a long fall and to head home with two medals is very satisfying,’’ said Rempel. ‘’Unfortunately today I didn’t have my best race. There were certain parts of the race I knew I was doing things wrong, I entered turns poorly and lost a lot of speed. But at least I knew what my errors were.’’

Kim Weger of Regina was 15th and Clara Hughes of Winnipeg 17th.

In the 1,000 World Cup standings after seven of 10 races, Simionato still leads at 502 points, Timmer is second at 424 and Rempel remains this at 403.

‘’I’ve had 18 World Cup races overall before Christmas which is unusually high,’’ said Rempel, who faces two exams later this month at the University of Calgary. ‘’I approached it more as preparation for the worlds later this winter but I surprised myself in the first World Cups and continued to build from there.’’

There was more good news for Canada at this World Cup. Brock Miron of Calgary posted the best international result of his career placing fifth in the men’s 1,000 while Mike Ireland of Winnipeg was fifth in the men’s 500, his best result this season.

In the men’s 1,000 Jan Bos of the Netherlands was the winner in 1:09.40 while Miron clocked fifth in 1:10.09 for his second top-10 performance this weekend. François-Olivier Roberge of St-Nicholas, Que., was 10th and Vincent Labrie of St-Romuald, Que., 19th.

‘’I’m extremely pleased,’’ said Miron, 26, in his fourth season on the national team. ‘’I had the legs going after yesterday’s encouraging result and had a great ending to my race today which is when it counts the most.

‘’Each World Cup has gotten a little bit better and it culminated with a nice performance. These are the kind of results I wanted for this season but I thought if would have taken a bit more time.’’

In the men’s 500, Kang-Seok Lee of South Korea earned his first victory this season in 35.09 while Ireland clocked 35.27 for fifth. Miron was 15th. In the B Group, Roberge was fifth.

‘’It’s starting to get a little better,’’ said Ireland, who missed the entire 2004-05 season due to a concussion then completed a strong run last winter to make the Olympic team where he placed seventh in the 500. ‘’I’m still settling in with my new equipment but I feel it’s coming around.’’

Other Canadian results: in the men’s 100-metre dash, Ireland was seventh, Labrie 21st, Miron 28th and Roberge 34th.

In the women’s 500, Rempel was 12th, Weger 15th, Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., 18th and Hughes 19th.

In the women’s 100, Weger was 13th, Rempel 15th and Myers 19th.