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    Sunday, December 28, 1997

    Le May Doan smashes world record again

     CALGARY (CP) -- Catriona Le May Doan says she wasn't into racing Sunday, but she went out and smashed her own 500-metre world speed skating record for the second time in little more than 24 hours anyway.
     "I don't know what to say anymore about the records," said Le May Doan, 27, after qualifying during the national trials for her third Olympics. "I didn't really feel into it but I started on the inner lane, which is more comfortable for me.
     "I was pleasantly surprised it was that fast but, obviously, I know records are always possible now no matter how I feel."
     The Saskatoon speedster was timed in 37.55 seconds, eclipsing her 37.71-second record Saturday. That bettered the world mark she'd established earlier this season.
     Le May Doan also holds the 1,500-metre world record and currently leads both the 500- and 1,000-metre World Cup points standings with five victories in eight races to clearly establish herself as a contender for gold at the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, in February.
     Susan Auch of Winnipeg was second overall with a personal-best 38.20 seconds Sunday.
     Linda Johnson Blair of Fort St. John, B.C., was third in a personal-best 38.98.
     The top three qualified for Nagano.
     The fourth spot will be determined in a raceoff between Sylvie Cantin of Ste-Foy, Que., and Michelle Morton of Calgary at the second part of the trials Jan. 4-7.
     Nagano will be Auch's fourth Olympics. She raced short track in 1988 at Calgary, was sixth in the 500 in 1992 in France, and won the silver medal in the 500 in 1994 in Norway.
     "I'm still looking at winning the Olympic gold medal," said Auch, 31. "Catriona's skating great right now but things can change in a month and a half.
     "It's hard to imagine where it's going to stop with her but, again, I want to be there, too. I can skate a lot faster. I haven't topped my speed in a lap yet this year."
     In the men's 500, Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., with four World Cup wins this season, took the Canadian crown with a time of 35.68 seconds Sunday.
     Patrick Bouchard of Cap-Rouge, Que., was second in 35.78.
     Sylvain Bouchard of Loretteville, Que., was third in 35.92.
     The top three qualified for Nagano.
     It'll be the first Games for Wotherspoon and a second for the Bouchards, who are not related.
     Sylvain Bouchard edged Winnipeg's Mike Ireland for the third spot by 1-100ths of a second in the combined Saturday-Sunday times.
     Ireland, Kevin Scott of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., Kevin Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Eric Brisson of Ste-Foy, Que., will be in a raceoff for the fourth Olympic spot next week.
     "This is the most competitive Olympic trials in Canadian speed skating history and it's a real honor to make the Olympic team," said Patrick Bouchard. "The World Cups this year have shown that Canada stands a great chance of winning some medals and I certainly think I should be included in that group."
     Competition continues today with the men's and women's 1,000-metre races. The top-three in both will qualify for the Olympics. Le May Doan set the world record in the women's 1,000 at a World Cup meet in Calgary last month only to lose it the next day to American Chris Witty.
     CALGARY (CP) -- Results Sunday at the Canadian single distance long track speed skating championships and Olympic team trials at the Olympic Oval (all distances in metres):
     500 (race 2 of 2): 1. Jeremy Wotherspoon, Red Deer, Alta., 35.68 seconds: 2. Patrick Bouchard, Cap-Rouge, Que., 35.78; 3. Sylvain Bouchard, Loretteville, Que., 35.92; 4. Michael Ireland, Winnipeg, 35.97; 5. Kevin Scott, Sault Ste Marie, Ont., 36.18; 6. Eric Brisson, Ste-Foy, Que., 36.55; 7. Sterling Sobczak, Winnipeg, 37.54; 8. Jamie Ivey Ottawa, 37.59; 9. Scott Van Horne, Winnipeg, 37.64; 10. Olivier Larocque, Ste-Foy, 38.03.
     500 overall Canadian championships standings: 1. Wotherspoon, 71.520 seconds; 2. Ireland, 72.190; 3. Brisson, 73.220; 4. Van Horne, 75.170; 5. Sobczak, 75.250; 6. Ivey, 75.340; 7. Larocque. 75.660; 8. Todd Lachance, Calgary, 76.270; 9. Kevin Foster, Calgary, 77.020; 10. Steve Quinn, Ontario, 77.470.
     500 overall Olympic trial standings (top-three qualify for Olympics): 1. Patrick Bouchard, 71.480 seconds; 2. Wotherspoon, 71.520; 3. Sylvain Bouchard, 72.180; 4. Ireland, 72.190; 5. Scott, 72.980; 6. Brisson, 73.230; 7. Van Horne, 75.170; 8. Sobczak, 75.250; 9. Ivey, 75.340; 10. Larocque, 75.660.
     500 (race 2 of 2): 1. Catriona Le May Doan, Saskatoon, 37.55 seconds (world record, previous record 37.71 set by Le May Doan, Dec. 27, 1997, Calgary); 2. Susan Auch, Winnipeg, 38.20; 3. Linda Johnson Blair, Fort St. John, B.C., 38.98; 4. Sylvie Cantin, Ste-Foy, Que., 39.77; 5. Isabelle Doucet, Ste-Foy, 40.44; 6. Leah Nattrass, Regina, 40.57; 7. Isabelle Crawford, Ste-Foy, 41.44; 8. Valerie Lemieux, Montreal, 41.70; 9. Krisy Myers, Calgary, 41.74; 10. Fleur Larocque, Ste-Foy, 42..14.
     500 overall (top-three qualify for Olympics): 1. Le May Doan, 75.260 seconds; 2. Auch, 76.660; 3. Johnson Blair, 78.210; 4. Cantin, 79.730; 5. Nattrass, 80.980; 6. Doucet, 81.020; 7. Crawford, 82.790; 8. Myers, 83.400; 9. Lemieux, 83.520; 10. Larocque, 84.710.
     Long track speed skaters so far qualified for Canadian Olympic team:
     500: Wotherspoon; Patrick Bouchard; Sylvain Bouchard.
     5,000: Mark Knoll, Regina.
     500: Le May Doan; Auch; Johnson Blair.
     3,000: Cindy Overland, Kitchener, Ont.; Ingrid Liepa, Ottawa; Susan Massitti, Vermillion, Alta.