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2008 World Speed Skating Championships, Gijon, Spain

By Robert Burnson

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Sept. 11, 2008

10:30 a.m. Thursday

Colombia Dominates Medal Chart Again

With one event remaining in the 2008 World Championships, Colombia has once again proved itself to be the world's top skating nation.

Colombian skaters have so far amassed 32 medals: 14 golds, eleven silvers and seven bronzes medals.

No other country is even close.

The next nearest competitors are Italy, South Korea and the United States.

Italy has 20 medals: six golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes.

South Korea had 19 medals: eight gold, five silvers and 6 bronzes, for a total of 19.

The United States also had 19, although of a duller luster: seven golds, seven silvers and five bronzes.

One of Colombia's brightest stars (and medal earners) this year has been 16-year-old Pedro Causil in the junior division, who has emerged as the world's top up-and-coming sprinter.

The 16-year-old has won three individual golds (in 300 meter and 500 meter on the track, and the 500 meter on the road) and two silvers.

 

10 a.m. Thursday

China in 2009?

A well-placed industry source told us: "Worlds in 2009 is 99% confirmed for China; 2010 Dubai; 2011 Korea." ... Save up your frequent flier miles!

Day 6 - Sept. 10, 2008

11 a.m. Wednesday

Mantia Makes It Three in a Row

Joey Mantia winning 500 meters

Joey Mantia (center) beats Colombia's Juan Tobon (left) and Argentina's Ezequiel Capellano to the line in the 500 meters.

photo: Bont

USA's Joey Mantia won today's 500-meter sprint to win the overall road title at the 2008 World Speed Skating Championships.

The 22-year-old from Olympia, WA, earned a gold medal on each of the three days of the road portion of the championships. Aside from today's victory, he won Monday's 20K on Monday and Tuesday''s 10K meters.

The only individual road event he did not win was the 200 meters, in which he finished fourth.

Mantia was also a member of the U.S. men's team that finished second in today's 5000-meter relay.

The U.S. women's fared better in the relay, winning the gold.

After a day off, the World Championships conclude on Friday with the marathon. Mantia has won the marathon in each of the last three championships.

 

Day 4 - Sept. 8, 2008

3 p.m Monday

Mantia: Back on Top of the Podium

USA's Joey mantia roared back from a disappointing finish in the 200 meters to win tonight's 20K elimination.

It was the first gold medal of the World Championships for Mantia, who was hit by a stomach virus during the first days of racing.

Mantia, 22, of Olympia, WA, was the defending champion in the 20K road event.

Italy's Francesco Zangarini was second; France's Yann Gayader, third.

 

 

9:48 a.m. Monday

Mantia Misses Medal in the 200 Meters

USA's Joey Mantia finished our of medal contention in today's 200-meter sprint.

Mantia had made winning the 200 meters one of his goals this year. It is one of the few event he has never won (Mantia profile).

But a stomach virus hit Mantia last week and though he said he was feeling better on Saturday night, he may not have recovered all of his strength.

He posted a time of 17.089 seconds today in the finals of the 200 meters.

Italy's Gregorio Duggento won the event easily with a time of 16.772.

Venezuela's Juan Jardine took the silver. Last year's winner, Wouter Hebbrecht of Holland, had to settle for bronze.

 

Day 3 - Sept. 6, 2008

2:15 p.m. Saturday

Rough Going in the Junior Men's Relay 1000 meters

The U.S. junior men (under 18) appeared to be headed for their first medal of the World Championships today — but they were literally shoved out of contention. (See video below)

The U.S. boys were skating well in the 3000-meter relay finals. The three-member team was at, or near, the lead during the beginning and middle of the race.

But during the relay exchange at the end of the 10th lap, a Colombian skater suddenly veered to the outside and knocked over USA's Keith Carroll, who was waiting for a relay push. Carroll of Narvon, PA, fell onto a Korean skater, who also hit the track.

The Colombian skater remained on his feet and completed his relay push. The Colombians, who had a slight lead before the relay tag, led for the rest of the race and took the gold.

The Italians were second; China Taipei, third.

No other teams were left standing.

U.S. officials did not protest the results.

"It looked like the Colombian skater hooked our skater," said assistant U.S. manager Debbie Bowe. "But that relay area was so crowded that it was surprising that someone didn't go down every lap."

Video of lap 10 and the fall:

 

11 a.m. Saturday

Cifuentes wins 1000 meters; USA's Josh Wood takes bronze

Colombia's Jorge Cifuentes edged France's Alexis Contin in the final yards to win today's 1000-meter track sprint in Gijon.

USA's Josh Wood, who trained on ice last winter, tucked in behind Contin to earn his first medal of the World Championships.

U.S. teammate Dane Lewis of Sacramento finished sixth, his best finish so far in Gijon.

Video of final relay push and lap:

 

10:30 a.m. Saturday

Sayasane Takes Gold in 1000 Meters

USA's top two women skaters continued piling up medals today in Gijon only this time it was Sara Sayasane who won the gold and Brittany Bowe who collected the silver.

Germany's Jana Gegnar led at the start of the 1000-meter track sprint, but soon a skater from China Taipei took over.

Lim held the lead until the start of the gun lap when Bowe shot to the front on the inside with Sayasane right behind her.

Going around the back stretch, Bowe swung out wide and Sayasane passed her on the inside.

Sayasane sprinted for the gold. Bowe raised her arms in victory a few yards before crossing the line in second place.

Korea's Jim Seon Lim finished third.

New Zealand's Nicole Begg, last year's 1000-meter champion, was fourth.

It was Sayasane's first individual gold medal at Worlds. The 22-year-old skater from Milpitis, CA, has collected a gold and two silvers so far in the championships.

Today's race gave Bowe, 20, of Ocala, FL, a complete set: a gold, silver and bronze.

Of the nine medals up for grabs in the track sprints (300, 500 and 1000) in Gijon, Sayasane and Bowe have collected six of them.

 

Sept. 5, 2008

Puello Outsprints U.S. Women

It was two fast Colombians vs. two fast Americans in the finals of the 500 meters in Gijon.

After two false starts, USA's Brittany Bowe jumped to the lead with teammate Sara Sayasane tucked in behind her.

Bowe held the lead until the backside of the last lap when Colombia's Jercy Puello flew past her.

Sayasane tried to follow, but Puello held her off to take the gold. Bowe finished on the inside just behind Sayasane.

Puello had finished third behind Bowe and Sayasane in Thursday's 300-meter time trial.

Men's 15,000 Elimination

Frenchman Alexis Contin returned from the world of longtrack ice to win the men's 15,000-meter elimination.

USA's Josh Wood and Dane Lewis had led midway through the 75-lap race. But first Lewis dropped back and was eliminated. He finished 11th in a field of 39.

Then Wood got caught in the back of the dwindling pack and was eliminated, to finish 8th.

Sept. 4, 2008

Briana's Silver

USA's Briana Kramer won the silver medal in the junior women's 15,000 meter elimination race. It was the only medal of the day for U.S. skaters in the mid-distance event. (The seniors — 18 years and over — skated a 10,000 meter points-elimination.)

Fastest Skater Was a Kid

The fastest 300 meters of the day was posted by a junior skater, Pedro Causil, 16, of Colombia. He won the junior gold with a time of 24.531 seconds. That was two-tenths of a second faster than the men's winner, Kalon Dobbin of New Zealand (24.739).

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