Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, of Canada, skates in the men’s 500 meters at the World Cup speedskating event Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Boisvert-Lacroix, Kodaira win World Cup speedskating races

KEARNS, Utah — Canadian Alex Boisvert-Lacroix won the men’s 500 metres and Japan’s Nao Kodaira took the women’s 500 on Friday on the opening day of the World Cup speedskating event at the Utah Olympic Oval.

Boisvert-Lacroix, who won his first World Cup gold medal last week in Calgary, finished in a personal-best 34.15 seconds.

“It’s really hard to go on after a win, recompose and come back to a race,” Boisvert-Lacroix said. “Today I felt amazing, even in my warm-up I felt I had it. I knew I was going for a personal best. To win today, I needed a personal best.”

Finland’s Mika Poutala was second in 34.17, and Dutchman Ronald Mulder followed in 34.22.

Kodaira had a personal best of 36.50. South Korea’s Lee Sang-Hwa was second in 36.71, and Japan’s Arisa Go was third at 37.17.

Mitchell Whitmore and Brittany Bowe were the only U.S. skaters competing in the 500s. Whitmore was eighth in the men’s race at 34.38, and Bowe was 13th in the women’s race at 37.69 seconds.

Whitmore, a two-time Olympian, fractured his tailbone during a bicycle crash in Montana in August. He went through six weeks of limited training while the tailbone healed and now is working on getting back to the same strength level he had before the accident.

“The result was a little lower than I expected for that time,” Whitmore said. “Overall, it wasn’t a great race, but I was really happy my start was quicker. It’s been a struggle of mine since coming back from being hurt.”

Bowe also is on the comeback trail after losing nearly a year while battling concussion symptoms. The four-time world champion suffered a concussion after colliding with a teammate in a training session in July, 2016.

She showed some rust on her first lap after missing the Calgary World Cup race earlier in December because of an illness.

“This past year hasn’t been exactly what I’ve wanted it to be,” Bowe said. “I got off the line as best as I could. I haven’t raced in a couple of weeks. It was my first start since Norway.”

Japan won the women’s team pursuit in 2:50.87, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.

Canada took the men’s team pursuit in a national record 3:36.44. Italy was second, and New Zealand third.

Denny Morrison was part of the Canadian team which set the previous record 10 years ago. After a motorcycle accident in 2015 and a stroke in 2016, Morrison said he’s glad to be back at the top level.

“This is real testament not just for what I’ve been through, but also how these guys in training all summer held me along,” said the Fort St. John, B.C., native. “Now I felt like I could do something back to the team. To help this team break the national record is an incredible feeling.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

11 rafters rescued from Red Deer River

Red Deer RCMP rescued a party of 11 river rafters Saturday afternoon… Continue reading

Tuesday marks 20th anniversary of Pine Lake tornado

‘Devastation was apparent’ following F3 tornado killed 12 people on July 14, 2000

Red Deer woman loses student visa, ‘has no choice but to leave’ Canada

Victoria Forschle and her family came to Canada in 2008

Red Deer up to four active COVID-19 cases

Province announced 77 new confirmed cases across Alberta Friday

You can’t put a price on memories

Some people would rather buy something than sell something. Some people are… Continue reading

Masks and gloves: Elections Saskatchewan preparing for pandemic election

REGINA — Elections Saskatchewan estimates it will need 400,000 face masks and… Continue reading

Quebec police say they found 2 bodies in St-Apollinaire during search for 2 girls

SAINT-APOLLINAIRE, Que. — Quebec provincial police continue to search for the father… Continue reading

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA chief Don Fehr reflect on RTP, CBA deals

Gary Bettman and Don Fehr finally have a chance to catch their… Continue reading

NHL’s road to Edmonton and Toronto featured plenty of obstacles

Since early March, the novel coronavirus has affected almost every decision facing… Continue reading

Florida sets record week for coronavirus deaths

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus death rate rose again Saturday, setting… Continue reading

Trump’s defiant help for Stone adds to tumult in Washington

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s intervention into a criminal case connected to… Continue reading

With debt, deficit numbers out, experts say Liberals need plan for growth

Borrowing will push the federal debt past $1 trillion by the end of the fiscal year

Most Read