CANOE NAGANO '98 ISP DIRECTORY
Monday, January 5, 1998
Morton makes Olympic cut
CALGARY (CP) -- Calgary's Michelle Morton salvaged a difficult season
by grabbing the fourth and final spot Monday for the 500-metre event on
Canada's Olympic long-track speed-skating team.
Morton, a member of the 1994 Olympic team, won a race-off with Sylvie
Cantin of Ste-Foy Que., clocking 39.43 seconds to Cantin's 40.05 seconds.
"The 500 is my race and I wanted to qualify badly," said the
25-year-old Morton, who is seventh in the World Cup 500 standings and also
holds the seventh fastest time in the world this season.
Morton suffered back and shoulder injuries in an automobile accident
a month ago which kept her off the ice for a week. And unlike most of her
teammates she has not quickly adapted to the new clap skates which are
propelling skaters to faster times.
"The accident threw me off and it caused a lot of stress for me
because it happened so close to the trials. It happened just at the time I was
starting to get used to the skates. When I came back it felt like I had to
start all over again."
World-record holder Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon, Olympic silver
medallist Susan Auch of Winnipeg and Linda Johnson Blair of Fort St. John,
B.C., qualified the first three 500 spots at trials last week.
In the men's 500 metres, Kevin Overland of Kitchener, Ont., earned
the final provisional spot in a time of 36.08 seconds.
He defeated Eric Brisson of Ste-Foy, Que., and Kevin Scott of Sault
Ste. Marie, Ont.
Overland is not certain of his position on the Olympic team because
Canada is limited to 10 men skaters and there is the possibility of byes for
The first three spots on the team were captured last week by Jeremy
Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., Patrick Bouchard of Cap-Rouge, Que., and
Sylvain Bouchard of Loretteville, Que.
Competition continues today with qualifying for the fourth Olympic
spots for the 1,000-metres.
Morton, Cantin and Isabelle Doucet of Ste-Foy are chasing the women's
berth while six skaters are eligible for the men's spot: Overland, Brisson,
Scott, Neal Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., Mike Ireland of Winnipeg and Jason
Parker of Yorkton, Sask.
The official Olympic team will be announced on Wednesday following
the 1,500-metre qualifiers. Canada is limited to 10 men and 10 women for
1. Kevin Overland, Kitchener, Ont., 36.08 seconds; 2. Eric Brisson, Ste-Foy,
Que., 36.33; 3. Kevin Scott, Sault Ste Marie, Ont., 36.54.
Men's 500 Standings
1. Overland, 72.100 points; 2. Brisson, 72.640; 3. Scott, 72.940.
1. Michelle Morton, Calgary, 39.43; 2. Sylvie Cantin, Ste-Foy, 40.05.
Women's 500 Standings
1. Morton, 79.050; 2. Cantin, 79.810.