Oval medal count rises to 11 with two events remaining
By Ryan Ohashi / Olympic Oval
Red Deer, AB – It was a big bounce back for Matthew Laxton and Team Ontario on the last day of long track competition as he claimed a silver medal on Thursday morning in the Mass Start re-race. Laxton was one of many skaters who were competing in the Mass Start for the second time this Games after a miscount on the laps in race 1 resulted in a re-race. Adding fuel to the fire, the 20 year old from Georgetown, ON had what appeared to be a gold medal victory in the first race, only to have it nullified by the officials.
Team Ontario stormed back in Thursday’s re-race with Laxton and fellow Oval program athletes Noah Bouma (5th), Gibson Himbault (6th) and Max Brant (8th) all finishing in the Top 8. Two other Oval athletes; Paul Coderre (AB) and Eric Orlowsky (BC) rounded out the Top 10.
For Laxton, the medal was his third of these Canada Winter Games, after scoring a bronze in the 1500m event to start the week and a bronze medal with his Team Ontario mates in the Team Pursuit. The silver medal finish rounded out a excellent week of competition that saw him also score a pair of fourth place finishes in the 500m and 5000m, and an eighth place finish in the 1000m.
On the short track, Brendan Yamada became a new Canada Winter Games record holder as he skated to a blistering time of 1:26.700 in the quarterfinals of the men’s 1000m. The Calgary, AB native would skate to a fourth place finish in the A final, with a trio of skaters from Quebec edging him off the podium.
Friday marks the final day of CWG competition for Oval program skaters with the short track 3000m points races and the always exciting Team Relays.