CALGARY, Alberta – Hiroyasu Shimizu produced his best time of the season while Japanese compatriot Shihomi Shinya took a surprise second place in the women’s overall standings Saturday after the first day of the speedskating World Sprint Championships.
Two-time Olympic medalist Shimizu clocked 34.52 seconds in the men’s 500 meters as he came second to Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon, who had a meet-record 34.41 on his way to grabbing the overall lead at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.
“I’m pretty happy with the way I raced today,” Shimizu said.
Wotherspoon later finished second in the 1,000 in 1:08.41, just 0.01 behind winner Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands, and topped the men’s standings with 68.615 points at the halfway point.
Shimizu could only manage 12th place in the 1,000 in 1:09.28 to end the first day in third overall, 0.545 adrift of Wotherspoon, in his 11th straight appearance at the world sprint meet.
In the women’s field, Shinya placed third in the 500 in 38.09 and fifth in the 1,000 in a personal-best 1:15:57, as she collected 75.875 points for second in the women’s standings.
Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt won both races and took a comfortable lead 0.67 clear of Shinya. The German clocked 37.76 in the 500 and 1:14.89 in the 1,000.
Japan’s Sayuri Osuga came fourth in the 500 and 13th in the 1,000 to stand eighth overall.
The two-day meet determines the overall champions based on points converted from times from two 500- and 1,000-meter races.
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