Sara Sayasane crossing the line in the 1000 meters in Gijon.
photo: Bont Skates
Sara Sayasane has often lived in the shadow of other prominent America skaters. But today she rolled into the limelight with two gold medals and a possible lock on the overall track title at the 2008 World Championships.
The 22-year-old from Milpitis, CA, won golds today in the 1000 meters and in the 3000-meter track relay.
She wasn't a favorite in the 1000 meters. Most eyes were on USA's Brittany Bowe and defending champion Nicole Begg of New Zealand.
But Sayasane shot past Bowe on the final lap and pounded out a furious sprint that no one could challenge.
"The plan was that Brittany and Sara needed to be together and that Brittany should be ahead at the 300 meter mark," said assistant U.S. manager Debbie Bowe. "Then if sarah wasn't right behind Brittany, Brittany was going to take off."
But Sayasane was right there, and on the final backstretch, she passed Bowe on the inside and went on to earn her first individual gold medal at a World Championships.
Both Sayasane and Bowe were part of the U.S. squad that won today's 3000-meter track relay. The third member was Emily Scott.
After three days of racing, Sayasane has collected two golds and two silvers. Her silvers came in the 300-meter time trial and the 500-meter sprint.
Bowe, 20, of Ocala, FL, has also two golds and a total of four medals (in addition to two world records). But her other medals are a silver (in today's 100 meters) and a bronze (in Friday's 500 meters).
The only other woman who has won two golds is South Korea's middle distance skater Hyo Sook Woo (10,000 meters and 15,000 meters).
U.S. superstar Joey Mantia finally won his first medal of the championships today, a silver in the men's 3000-meter relay.
Mantia, who is recovering from a stomach virus, looked strong in the relay. The U.S. team was in the lead at the start of the last lap. But the Italians caught USA's Sebastian Cano on the backstretch and took the gold.
The U.S. girls were strong in the 500-meter sprint today. Mariah Richardson of Greensboro, NC, claimed the silver and Erin Jackson, of Ocala, FL, skating in her first Worlds, took the bronze. Korea's So Yeong Shin won the gold.
The World Championships take a break tomorrow before resuming Monday with the road events.
For other news from the day at Gijon, read the:
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