Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel wins silver at speed skating World Cup

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg continued her breakthrough season on Friday night placing second in the women’s 1,000-metres and posting two personal best times to open the third stop on the long track speed skating World Cup sprints circuit.

Chiara Simionato of Italy earned her fourth win in five races this season clocking 1:15.29. Rempel overcame a wobble on the last crossover to finish second in a personal best 1:15.95. It was the 20-year-old Rempel’s second World Cup medal this season. Anzehelika Kotyuga of Belarus third in 1:16.11.

"I knew if I wanted to get a medal tonight I’d have to get a personal best," said Rempel, the world junior champion in 2003, in her first full season on the World Cup circuit. "I was aggressive and really psyched for that last lap. It’d been a few weeks since the last World Cup and I was feeling a little bit nervous, but we really prepared well for this."

Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was 16th and Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., 17th.

In the women’s 500, Manli Wang of China is five for five this season taking the gold in 37.91. Kotyuga was second in 37.95 and Tomomi Okazaki of Japan third in 37.99. Rempel notched another top-10 finish clocking a personal best 38.10 for sixth spot.

"That’s a real confidence booster for next weekend," said Rempel who is tuning for the world sprint championships in Salt Lake City next Saturday and Sunday. "I know I can consistently contend with those top skaters."

Myers was 19th and Kim Weger of Regina 20th.

Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands was the big star in men’s competition as he swept the gold in the 500 and 1,000 metre races leading the Dutch to four of the six medals.

In the 500 he clocked 34.84 finishing ahead of Dmitry Lobkov of Russia by 0.01 seconds. In the 1,000, Wennemars was first in 1:08.50.

World champion Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, who has five World Cup medals this season had a rare subpar day placing ninth in the 1,000 and 10th in the 500.

But Wotherspoon has an opportunity to rebound on Saturday with another set of 500 and 1,000 races scheduled beginning at 1 p.m. local time at the Olympic Oval.