Roundup Japan's Hiroyasu Shimizu won the men's 500-meter sprint at a World Cup speedskating event yesterday in Innsbruck, Austria, and Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon captured the 1,000 meters.
Shimizu was clocked at 36.1 seconds, beating Wotherspoon by .19 seconds. Wotherspoon held off fellow Canadian Michael Ireland by one-hundredth of a second.
Wotherspoon went on to dominate the 1,000-meter sprint in 1 minute 11.34 seconds. Jae-Bong Choi of South Korea was second, with Jan Bos of the Netherlands taking third.
Germany's Monique Garbrecht and Tomomi Okazaki of Japan tied for first in the women's 500 meters. Garbrecht also won the 1,000-meter sprint ahead of Austria's Emese Hunyady and Sabine Voeker of Germany.
CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: A new format didn't stop reigning World Cup champion Thomas Alsgaard of Norway from widening his lead in this season's standings with a comfortable victory in a pursuit event.
In Sappada, Italy, Alsgaard finished nearly 30 seconds ahead of countryman Espen Bjervig to bring his World Cup total to 216 points.
Alsgaard, an Olympic and world championship gold medalist, covered the morning's 7.5-kilometer technical leg and the later 10-kilometer pursuit in a total of 39:20.6. Bjervig was clocked in 39:49.5, and Stephan Kunz of Liechtenstein was third in 39:49.7.
The Sappada race, held after a night of heavy snowfall, was the first World Cup pursuit in which both legs were held on the same day and over reduced distances.
NORDIC COMBINED: Samppa Lajunen of Finland won the one-jump and 7.5-kilometer cross-country ski sprint to move atop the World Cup standings.
Lajunen, 20, the World Cup winner in 1997, had the best jump with a 100.5-meter effort in Vuokatti, Finland. That gave him him a 15-second cushion, going out on the track, ahead of teammate Jaakko Tallus. Norway's Bjarte Engen Vik was 21 seconds behind.
Vik, the World Cup champion the last two years, passed Tallus early and went on to an uncontested second without a chance to catch the leader. Hannu Manninen of Finland, an efficient skier, took third, up from eighth.
BIATHLON: Norway's men's team easily won the World Cup 7.5-kilometer relay, finishing ahead of Russia in 1:48.2 in Pokljuka, Slovenia.
The Norwegian team--Egil Gjelland, Frode Andresen, Halvard Hanevold, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen--was particularly successful in shooting, hitting 40 targets in 42 shots. They missed no target, and finished the relay race in 1:15:32.7.
ALPINE SKIING: A men's World Cup downhill race in Val d'Isere, France, was postponed when heavy snow and fog made racing too dangerous.
Race organizers had hoped that the heavy snowfall and fog might subside after a half-hour delay, but soon realized the poor weather would not let up.
The International Ski Federation said it had not yet decided when the downhill, the first race of the season to be canceled, would be rescheduled.