Sunday, February 15, 1998
Canadian men shut out
The Canadians were kept off the medal podium early this morning after a 1-2 finish by the Dutch.
Sylvain Bouchard, fourth last week in the 500 metres, was the top Canuck, placing fifth. Wotherspoon, the world record holder over 1000 metres and a silver medallist last week in the 500 metres, had a disappointing day, placing sixth. Kevin Overland of Cambridge, ninth, gave Canada three skaters in the top 10.
It is a testament to how far speedskating has come in Canada that placing three athletes in the top 10 ofthe Olympic final was considered a disappointing result. The Canadians came to the M-Wave oval with high expectations following a 2-3-4-5 finish in the 500, and a day after Canada's Catrioan Le May Doan and Susan Auch swept the gold and silver in the women's 500.
"I guess it's a bit disappointing because Jeremy is the world record holder," said coach Derrek Auch. "But we still had three guys in the top 10. That's pretty good."
The gold medal was won by Ids Postma with Dutch teammate Jan Bos right behind for the silver. Japan's Hiroyasu Shimizu, gold medallist in the 500 metres, took the bronze.
Wotherspoon had the day's fastest time over the opening 600 metres, but faded on the last lap.
"I just got tired," he said. "I don't know why. I just did. I can't explain why I died today."
Bouchard suggested that slow ice played to the advantage of the Dutch. When the ice is hard and fast it works to the advantage of the sprinters. Slower ice tips the scales in favor of the longer-distance athletes. Postma and Bos are both considered more of a threat in the 1,500.
"When the ice is really fast, those guys don't have the technique to hold the turns," Bouchard said. "It's a bit disappointing. We thought we'd get one or two medals. It's sad, but that's sport."
Wotherspoon knew he was out of contention as soon as he crossed the finish line and saw his time of 1:11.39. more than a full second off his world-record time of 1:10.16 set earlier this season.
"As soon as I saw that time I knew it wouldn't be good enough," Wotherspoon said. "I thought I was capable of better. There's not point in complaining about the ice being too slow or too fast. It was the same for everybody.
"I gave all I had but I just wasn't able to equal the best race I've done this year. I don't think I've felt that bad after 1,000 metres all year."
Auch was as mystified as Wotherspoon about what went wrong. For 600 metres he seemed to have it going on cruise control, but he ran out of gas in the final lap.
"It's been an amazing season for Jeremy," Auch said. "But he just didn't have the legs at the end."
Auch said he did not believe Wotherspoon, coming off a strong 500-metre race, was overconfident.
"Sometimes, once you've won a medal, you're not as hungry any more. But Jeremy was hungry. He had the day's fastest lap out there. He really wanted the medal."
ResultsNAGANO, Japan (AP) -- Final results Sunday from the men's 1,000 meter speedskating medal event at the Winter Olympics.
1, Ids Postma, Netherlands, 1 minute, 10.64 seconds.
2, Jan Bos, Netherlands, 1:10.71.
3, Hiroyasu Shimizu, Japan, 1:11.00.
4, Jakko Leeuwangh, Netherlands, 1:11.26.
5, Sylvain Bouchard, Canada, 1:11.29.
6, Jeremy Wotherspoon, Canada, 1:11.39.
7, Casey FitzRandolph, Madison, Wis., 1:11.64.
8, KC Boutiette, Tacoma, Wash., 1:11.75.
9, Peter Adeberg, Germany, 1:11.90.
10, Kevin Overland, Canada, 1:11.90.
11, Yusuke Imai, Japan, 1:11.96.
12, Martin Hersman, Netherlands, 1:12.00.
13, Lee Kyu-Hyuk, South Korea, 1:12.05.
14, Grunde Njos, Norway, 1:12.27.
15, Davide Carta, Italy, 1:12.27.
16, Christian Breuer, Germany, 1:12.33.
17, Sergey Tsybenko, Kazakstan, 1:12.40.
18, Manabu Horii, Japan, 1:12.40.
19, Patrick Bouchard, Canada, 1:12.49.
20, Kim Yoon-man, South Korea, 1:12.50.
21, Janne Hanninen, Finland, 1:12.55.
22, Chun Joo-hyun, South Korea, 1:12.55.
23, Andrei Anufriyenko, Russia, 1:12.61.
24, Nate Mills, Washington, D.C., 1:12.61.
25, Hiroyuki Noake, Japan, 1:12.68.
26, Pawel Abratkiewicz, Poland, 1:12.80.
27, Ermanno Ioriatti, Italy, 1:12.83.
28, Alexander Kibalko, Russia, 1:12.94.
29, Cory Carpenter, Brookfield, Wis., 1:13.03.
30, Jaegal Sung-yeol, South Korea, 1:13.09.
31, Roland Brunner, Austria, 1:13.16.
32, Dmitri Shepel, Russia, 1:13.31.
33, Sergei Klevchenya, Russia, 1:13.51.
34, Roger Strom, Norway, 1:13.58.
35, Andrew Nicholson, New Zealand, 1:13.86.
36, Dai Dengwen, China, 1:14.20.
37, Vladimir Klepinin, Kazakstan, 1:14.38.
38, Li Yu, China, 1:14.50.
39, Oleg Kostromitin, Ukraine, 1:14.53.
40, Liu Hongbo, China, 1:15.06.
41, Tomasz Swist, Poland, 1:15.55.
42, Zsolt Balo, Hungary, 1:15.87.
43, Wu Fenglong, China, DNF.
44, Cedric Kuentz, France, DNS.