Per Bjoerang of Norway became the new World Sprint Champion in speed skating in Innsbruck, Austria on Sunday (17 February) when he rounded out his domination of the championships with a second and a third place in the second round of the 500 metres and the 1000 metres races.
GV Skaters warming up
MV Bjoerang and Cassan start their race, around course (3 shots)
GV Zoom into SV Bjoerang around course and across finish
MV Priestner (left) and Averina (right) start race and around course (3)
MV & GV Averina in led and wins (2)
Initials SC/421 SC443
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Background: Per Bjoerang of Norway became the new World Sprint Champion in speed skating in Innsbruck, Austria on Sunday (17 February) when he rounded out his domination of the championships with a second and a third place in the second round of the 500 metres and the 1000 metres races.
On Saturday (16 February) Bjoerang led the field by winning the 500 metres event and coming ninth in the 1000 metres.
The Russians looked as though they would dominate the women's event, with Tatiana Averina winning both her 500 and 1000 metres races on Saturday. But on Sunday, she was disqualified because she touched per opponent during a race, and so lost her title hopes.
The women's title went to Leah Poulos of the United States, who beat Dutch housewife Atje Keulen-D???elstra into second place.
SYNOPSIS: The two-day World Spring Championships opened in Innsbruck, Austria on Saturday. The competition was in two sections -- five hundred metres and one thousand metres races. Here Per Bjoerang of Norway -- on the left -- races against Gerrard Cassan of Canada in the five hundred metres competition.
Bjoerang took clear command of the race. He was to dominate the competition throughout the championships, ultimately winning the title of World Spring Champion on Sunday. But Bjoerang's victory was an anti-climax because of the withdrawal of the Soviet former wold champion, Valeri Murator, because of an injury.
In the women's thousand metre competition Cathy Priestner of Canada -- on the left -- faced Tatiana Averina of Russia.
Averina's smooth confident style opened up an early lead over Priestner -- a lead that would continue to widen ... Averina also won the five hundred metres competition on Saturday, and seemed the likely victor of the women's championship title.