Joey Mantia is all smiles after winning the 10K points race in Gijon.
photo: Bont Skates
USA's Joey Mantia played a dangerous game today on his way to victory in the 10,000-meter points race.
He sat back in the pack while the Colombians and Koreans racked up points early.
But he stayed just within striking distance of the gold and grabbed it with a powerful sprint on the final lap.
Fortunately for him, South Korea's Nam Yoo Jong, who was leading the race with 13 points to Mantia's 10, was running out of gas.
As the leaders, including Mantia, took off sprinting at the start of the final lap, Jong was left behind.
On the final turn, Mantia charged to the front and pulled away from the leaders. He rolled comfortably across the finish line in the lead with his hands on his knees.
The final lap earned Mantia three points, putting him into a tie with Jong, who collected no points on the final lap. Ties are broken by the order of finish so Mantia was awarded the gold.
Jong got the silver; Venezuela's Jose Bastidas, with seven points, the bronze.
The People's Republic of Skating
For the first time ever at the World Championships, a skater from the People's Republic of China reached the podium.
China's Guo Dan collected seven points in the women's 10,000 meters to win the silver.
South Korea's Hyo Sook Woo won the gold, and China Teipai's Huang Yu Ting took the bronze, making it an all-Asian awards ceremony.
Woo, the South Korean, has emerged in Gijon as the world's top female mid-distance skater. So far at Worlds, she has won three gold medals: today's 10,000 meters and last week's 10,000-meter points-elimination and 15,000-meter elimination.
Woo easily won today's race, collecting 20 points.
However, the story may have been different if New Zealand's Nicole Begg, who was leading early, hadn't taken a fall.
The PatinCarrera web site reported today that representatives of the International Olympic Committee "arrived today at Gijon to assess the candidacy of our sport to enter the Olympic family in the Olympic Games of 2016."
Roller sports is one of five sports that the IOC is officially considering for inclusion in the Summer Games. The others are golf, rugby, squash and karate.
For other news from the day at Gijon, read the:
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