Gold and Bronze medal performances highlight action packed day
By Ryan Ohashi / Olympic Oval
Red Deer, AB – It was another action packed day of racing for the Oval program short track and long track skaters at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The highlight of the day was the 500m finals on the short track where Hee Won Son and Brendan Yamada claimed gold and bronze medals respectively.
“It’s a just an amazing feeling” said Son “This week I was struggling with an injury, so to come out on top makes this extra special.”
The gold medal was Son’s first despite skating in her second Canada Winter Games after participating as a long track skater in 2015 in Prince George / Fort St. John.
“It’s awesome to skate and be a little more experienced and be in front of the home crowd” said Son “You feel more confidant, the energy has been amazing, the volunteers and everyone have been so supportive. You can feel that energy when you’re skating and it’s made racing a lot of fun.”
The long track 1000m and Mass Start races had a wild finish at Great Chief Park, resulting in a re-race of the Men’s race set for Thursday morning.
In the 1000m, former Oval program skaters Tyson Langelaar and Alexa Scott skated to gold medals with dominant performances. Since this was the first-ever 1000m event skated in the Canada Winter Games both athletes posted new Games records. Langelaar skated to a 1:12.79, nearly a full 2 seconds faster than Alberta’s Kaleb Muller who took silver and BC’s Josh Telizyn who rounded out the podium. Langelaar continues to dominate adding this gold in the 1000m to his previous in the 500m and 1500m races and his silver in the 5000m. Oval Athlete Paul Coderre was just edged out of the podium for a 4th place finish. Coderre has two top 5 finishes this week in the 1000m & 1500m and a gold medal in the Team Pursuit as part of the record setting Team Alberta made up of Coderre, Max Halek, Josh Hathaway and Kaleb Muller.
“I have been happy with my results all week, I think I have skated as well as I could possibly skate.” said Coderre “To be honest, that record and the medal in the Team Pursuit almost means more to me that an individual medal would have. I have skated with that group of guys forever, either in club or just growing up together so it has been awesome to do that with a group of guys that I have been friends for a long time.”
Scott followed up her record setting win in the 1000m with her third gold medal of the games in the women’s Mass Start race. Oval Athlete Matthew Laxton appeared to have scored his first gold medal of the games to go with his Bronze in the 1500m. But a mistake in the lap count resulted in his win being called back and a re-race set for Thursday morning.
Competition continues with that re-race in Red Deer on Thursday at Great Chief Park and the 1000m races on the short track at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.