Monday, November 24, 1997
No fluke in Wotherspoon
Consecutive weeks? Forget about it.
"In the 500 I've won three races in a row now, and I guess that's a bit of a surprise," offered Jeremy Wotherspoon, almost glad to be in the media room after getting stuck in a long queue at doping control.
"I went into last weekend (the World Cup opener at Roseville, Minn.) knowing I was skating good 1,000s. I guess I won't be surprised if I win (more 500's now. I know I have as much potential in both races to do well."
Wotherspoon, a lanky 21-year-old from Red Deer, made it a weekend sweep in the 500 metres yesterday, edging Japan's Yasunori Miyabe by 2/100ths of a second (35.77-to-35.79).
In the 1,000 metres, Wotherspoon, who placed fifth after being interfered with Saturday, tired down the stretch and finished in a tie for fourth with Sylvain Bouchard of Loretteville, Que.
South Korea's Kyu-Hyuk Lee won the gold in a world record time of 1:10.42. Manabu Horii of Japan grabbed the bronze.
"Both weekends have given me a lot of confidence in my abilities," declared Wotherspoon. "It sort of confirms my results from last weekend. It gives me an indication of my potential for the big races this season."
"Anyone who wins a medal in a World Cup definitely has the potential to win a medal at the Olympics," he replied. "I know that if I stay with my race plan and come out with a good race, I have a good chance of being on the podium."
The entire Canadian squad had reason to smile.
"For this time of year, for me it's excellent," said Cap-Rouge, Quebec's Patrick Bouchard, sixth in the 500 and ninth in the 1,000.
"Sylvain (Bouchard) and I only came to Calgary Oct. 13. We haven't had that long a skating period. For us it's pretty early in the year, so to get these kinds of results is just incredible."
The Canucks certainly were consistent yesterday. Bouchard was fourth in both races, Mike Ireland of Winnipeg was seventh twice, and Kevin Overland of Kitchener was eighth, yes, in both.