Per Bjoerang of Norway became the new World sprint Champion of speed skating in Innsbruck, Austrai on Sunday (17 February).
Per Bjoerang of Norway became the new World sprint Champion of speed skating in Innsbruck, Austrai on Sunday (17 February). on the second day of the two-day championships, Bjoerang added a second in the 500 metres and a third in the 1000 metres to his record of the day before when he placed first and ninth in the events.
Bjoerang's domination of the men's competition was something of an anti-climax because of the withdrawal of former world champion Valeri Muratov of the soviet Union because of an injury.
The women's title went to Leah Poulos of the United States, who beat Dutch housewife Atja Keulen-Deelstra into second place.
The Soviet skater Tatiana Averina had dominated the women's events on Saturday, winning both her 500 metres and 1000 metres races. She lost her title hopes when she was disqualified for touching her opponent during a change over in the first of Sunday's races.
SYNOPSIS: Poulos pulled ahead to an early lead. She was the only U.S. woman contender remaining in the competition. Sheila Young, last year's title holder, and the main U.S. hops, had fallen during the first day's races. But Leah Poulos, who was not among the top skaters on Saturday was coming back with a bid for the title. Her strong, smooth skating style, combined with the disqualification of one of the leaders, brought the title within her grasp.
With her win over Hasegawa, Leah Poulos became the women's World Sprint Champion -- for the second straight year giving the title to the U.S!
In the men's competition, Per Bjoerang of Norway faced Poland's Jan Trzebunja.
Bjoerang had dominated the first days racing and held a clear lead as he entered Sunday's competition. Trzebunja was standing in ninth place when he had to go against Bjoerang.