Road To The Olympic Games

Gilmore Junio, Alexandre St-Jean give Canada 1-2 speed skating finish

Gilmore Junio edged Alexandre St-Jean to give Canada a 1-2 finish in the men's 500-metre sprint at a speed skating World Cup event on Friday.

Canadians win gold, silver in World Cup 500m race at Inzell, Germany

The Canadian finished first in the men's 500-metre sprint at a speed skating World Cup in Inzell, Germany on Friday. Junio won with a time of 34.86. 1:52

Gilmore Junio edged Alexandre St-Jean to give Canada a 1-2 finish in the men's 500-metre sprint at a speedskating World Cup event on Friday.

The victory was overshadowed later by the crash of two Canadians before the men's pursuit. Stafan Waples crashed in the curve during the warm-up and took down teammate Ted-Jan Bloemen, cutting him deeply in the left calf. Bloemen was treated in a local hospital.

Netherlands won the pursuit ahead of Norway and Poland.

Junio, from Calgary, clocked 34.86 seconds to nip St-Jean of Quebec City by 0.04 seconds. Artus Was of Poland was third, 0.11 seconds behind.

"It was definitively one of my most complete races this season," Junio said. "In past races, I approached it as something bigger than it was. Today, I saw it as another race and as another day in training. I think that kept me calm and right off the gun, I simply thought about the things I work on in training. That really helped my mindset — and my lap times."

Laurent Dubreuil, of Levis, Que., finsihed just 002 seconds behind Was.

Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea won the women's sprint in 37.33 seconds, a course record. She was 0.37 seconds ahead of Brittany Bowe of the United States. Another American, Heather Richardson-Bergsma, was 0.66 behind in third.

It was Junio's first medal since winning bronze at the World Cup final held in March of 2014 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

"It's a great feeling to get this monkey off my back," Junio. "It's great to have some confidence back. Even if it was an emptier field without Pavel Kulizhnikov, you still have to go out there and beat the other guys on the ice."

St-Jean said he was surprised to end up on the podium after skating in the fifth of 10 pairings.

"I knew my time was good, but I had some serious doubts that it would hold for five more pairings," he said. "Especially when you consider this was my first time skating here, in Inzell. I had nothing to compare it with. But each time a pairing finished skating, I became a little more tense because my chances of staying on the podium were increasing."

Olympic champion Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won the 3,000 metres in 4:03.18 for her third win in as many races. Marije Joling of the Netherlands was 0.90 back in second and Olga Graf of Russia was 2.69 seconds back in third.

With files from CBC Sports

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