• Kyodo


Shihomi Shinya became only the third Japanese woman to win a medal at the speedskating World Sprint Championships on Sunday when she finished third in the overall standings on the final day of the two-day meet.

News photoShihomi Shinya

World Championship debutante Shinya, second overall after Saturday’s races, clocked 38.05 seconds for third in the 500 meters and placed ninth in the 1,000 in 1:16.11 to finish with 151.980 points at the Olympic Oval in Calgary

“I was really nervous today and at the start of the races my knees were trembling,” said Shinya. “I felt I did OK in both races and am pleased with finishing third,” added the 23-year-old from Nagano.

The previous two World Sprint Championship overall medal winners from Japan were Seiko Hashimoto, who took bronze in 1989, and Eriko Sammiya, who claimed the silver medal in 2001.

Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt swept all four of the weekend’s races, only the fifth woman to achieve the feat, by winning the 500 (37.75) and 1,000 (1:14.54) Sunday to finish with a meet-record total of 150.225 points.

It was the German’s fifth overall gold and first in two years. Cindy Klassen of Canada was second.

The two-day meet determines the overall champions based on points converted from times from two 500 and 1,000 races.

In the men’s field, Hiroyasu Shimizu lost his balance on the second bend in the 500 meters and finished third in 34.67. The two-time Olympic medalist was ninth in the 1,000 in 1:09.07 and finished fifth overall.

Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon won the 500 in 34.49 and was third in the 1,000 in 1:08.25 to successfully defend his sprint title with a world-record 137.230 points.

Gerard van Velde finished second overall with fellow-Dutchman Erben Wennemars in third.

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