CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
Tuesday, December 30, 1997
Wotherspoon, Le May Doan dominate
CALGARY (CP) -- Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., and Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon continued to dominate the Canadian single distance long track speed skating championships and Olympic trials meet Tuesday.
In the men's 1,500 metres, Wotherspoon clocked one minute 50.27 seconds to claim his third Canadian crown this week. It was only the second 1,500 race this season for the 21-year-old dynamo who has emerged as one of the world's top sprinters (500 and 1,000 metres) with four World Cup victories and the world record in the 1,000.
National team rookie Steven Elm of Calgary, a 5,000-metre specialist, was unexpectedly second in a personal best 1:50.62 while Kevin Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., was third in 1:50.85. Elm and Marshall have probably guaranteed themselves a spot on the Olympic team as well.
"I'm relieved because I had let myself down in the 5,000," said Elm, 22, who needed to win the 5,000 last Saturday to qualify in the event for the Olympics but placed fifth.
"It made me motivated today because I know I'm capable of going fast." Neal Marshall of Coquitlam, the number-two 1,500 metre racer in the world the past two years and one of Canada's top Olympic medal hopes, slipped to fifth in 1:51.55. Marshall, 28, has struggled this season because of a lung infection.
He can still grab the fourth spot in the 1,500 at the second part of the trials.
In the women's 1,500, Le May Doan, 27, also ended the competition with three Canadian titles placing first in 1:59.70, short of her world record time of 1:57.87 established on the same ice earlier this month. This week she broke the world record twice in the 500 and also won the 1,000 metres.
Cindy Overland of Kitchener, Ont., was second in 2:01.04 and Ingrid Liepa of Ottawa third in 2:02.36. Those three will likely skate the event at the Olympics with a fourth spot still up for grabs next week. Overland and Liepa have also earned the Olympic berths in the 3,000.
The trials conclude in Calgary January 4 to 7 with the Olympic team officially announced January 7. Canada can send a maximum 10 men and 10 women to Nagano.