Friday, January 9, 1998
Marshall gets to go to NaganoCALGARY (CP) -- Veteran speed skater Neal Marshall can finally book his ticket to Nagano.
But Mike Ireland and Jason Parker won't get to go to the Winter Olympic Games unless there is an injury.
Marshall, ranked No. 2 in the world the past two seasons in the 1,500 metres, received a bye to the team Thursday. The 28-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C., has been suffering from asthma and a lung infection that hampered his performances during the trials which concluded on Wednesday.
He is listed to race the 5,000 and as a substitute in the 1,500.
"I certainly have mixed feelings," said Marshall, who would have preferred to race the 1,500.
"I'm mostly disappointed because of the situation, not because of the association's decision.
"The bad luck's on me for getting sick at the trials."
As recently as November, Marshall -- now in his eighth season on the national team -- held the unofficial world record in the 1,500 metres. He established an offical world record at the end of last season, but that was broken by a Dutch skater.
"The 5,000 isn't my specialty, but I'll do the best that I can," he said. "And who knows I may get to skate in the 1,500 if somebody is hurt or wants to skip the event to concentrate on another distance."
Ireland, a Winnipeg skater who missed most of the trials due to a groin injury, and Parker, of Yorkton, Sask., were named substitutes to the team but won't travel to Nagano unless there is an injury.