Sunday, November 23, 1997
LeMay Doan new queen of speed
"I'm going faster than I thought I would ever go, so I'm not quite sure where to put the limit," laughed Catriona LeMay Doan. "My goals before the year were to do a 38 and 1:18, and those were blown away. I mean, I think I can skate a 1:15, and to me that's ridiculous. But it's possible.
"It's all new territory for me, and I'm still adjusting."
LeMay Doan yesterday went where no female skater had gone before, breaking the world records in both the 500 and 1,000 metres in winning two gold medals at the CODA World Cup Sprints at the Olympic Oval.
She led a Canadian team which earned seven medals on the day.
The 26-soon-to-be-27-year-old from Saskatoon went 1-2 in the 500 with teammate Susan Auch, LeMay Doan shaving almost 8/10ths of a second off Bonnie Blair's record.
She faced an even more formidable challenge in 1,000. German Franziska Schenk had skipped the 500 to concentrate on the kilometre, and it paid off when she took 1.4 seconds off the world record. But LeMay Doan, admittedly tiring, sucked it up to post a clocking of 1 minute, 16.07 seconds, 17/100ths better than even Schenk.
LeMay Doan had beaten both records two weeks ago, but because they weren't done at an International Skating Union-sanctioned event they didn't qualify.
"I'm definitely happy the world records are official now," she grinned.
"In the 500, I wanted to see a 37. The starts weren't particularly good, so it was a good result.
"In the 1,000, I was just relieved when the finish line came. That last 300 was pretty tough. It was definitely one of the toughest races ever."
She knew she had a shot at Schenk, though.
"I have a real bad habit of looking at the clock," she said. "With a lap to go, I was telling myself `don't look at the clock.' But when I crossed the finish line I looked instantly."
The key, she figured, was staying loose. Especially in the 500, where she and Auch were matched together.
"(Sprint coach Derrick Auch) really emphasized not to race each other," she said.
"It made us a bit more nervous, but I think it's healthy for us. There was lot of hype about the weekend, and it's a great opportunity for us to work on our nerves and staying re-laxed.
"Catriona was great," de-clared Auch, who also broke the world record, finishing in 38.67.
"She's so strong in both races, and I think she proved today she could handle the stresses as well.
"Being paired with a teammate has to be stressful. I know it was stressful for me. I think she handled it much better than I did. I panicked a bit, flailed a bit, but she didn't."
Still, Auch wasn't complaining. Why would she?
"I came in with high hopes, but it's still early in the year and I really have to be happy with these times now.
"I definitely attribute some of my early season results to (LeMay Doan). She's skating so fast."
Auch was ninth in the 1,000.
Sabine Volker of Germany was third in the 500, with American Chris Witty winning the bronze in the 1,000.
Calgary's Linda Johnson Blair finished ninth in the 500, with Michelle Morton 13th.
They'll do it all again today beginning at 12:30.