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Canada’s Gilmore Junio ties for first place in World Cup speed skating race

First Place finisher Gilmore Junio of Canada, right, second place Joji Kato of Japan, left, after the men's 500 meter during the Essent ISU speedskating World Cup at Utah Olympic

JIM URQUHART/USA TODAY SPORTS

Calgary's Gilmore Junio won a gold medal at a World Cup speed skating competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, when he tied Japan's Joji Kato for first place in the 500 metre event.

Both were timed in 34.258 seconds.

It was Junio's second World Cup medal. He won a silver in Nagano, Japan on December, 9, 2012.

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"I'm pretty through the roof right now," said the 23-year-old Gilmore, who is in his fourth year of international competition. "It's a really good confidence booster going into the Olympic trials and the Olympics."

Junio beat his previous personal best time of 34.53 to secure the gold.

Michel Mulder of the Netherlands was third, while Jamie Gregg of Edmonton finished seventh. Laurent Dubreuil of Levis, Quebec was 17th.

"The way our team is performing, especially our 500 metre guys, I think we have a really good chance to do something special at the Olympics," Junio said. "Hopefully we can keep it going."

Denny Morrison, of Fort St. John, B.C., challenged for the podium in the men's 1,500 with a fifth-place time of 1:42.79, missing a bronze by 0.51 seconds. Lucas Makowsky of Regina was 19th.

Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg finished 14th in the women's 3,000 in 4:04.50, three seconds off the podium.

"My 3,000 today was probably one of the best races I've had in years," Schussler said. "I know that my ranking is nearly not as high as I want it, but for the first time since before the Vancouver Olympics, I actually feel like I'm a contender for the podium."

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South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa broke the world record in the women's 500 metres, with a time of 36.57 seconds.

China's Wang Beixing was second in 36.85, Heather Richardson finished third in a U.S.-record 36.97.

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