Speed skating: Abbotsford's Johnson excels on home ice

Speed skating: Abbotsford's Johnson excels on home ice

Author: BC Winter Games 1/Sunday, February 23, 2014/Categories: 2014 BC Winter Games, Speed Skating

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An early adrenaline-boosting gold medal powered Annabel Johnson to a major podium rush at the BC Winter Games.
In her first short track speed skating final at Abbotsford Recreation Centre – the U14 girls 400 metres – the 12-year-old from Abbotsford crossed the finish line in second place and naturally assumed she'd won the silver medal.
But as it turned out, the apparent first-place finisher had been disqualified for colliding with another athlete, upgrading Johnson's silver to gold.
"Someone came into the change room and said, 'Hey, you won,'" Johnson recounted with a smile. "It was really surprising . . . definitely an adrenaline rush."
Johnson, a Grade 7 student at Clayburn Middle School who has been competing in the sport for four years, went on to win four other medals – gold in the 3000m and the 2000m mixed relay, and silver in the 400m race 2 and the 1500m.
"I wasn't expecting five medals out of six (races)," she acknowledged. "I just expected lots of competition – a lot of people I was going to have to watch out for."
Johnson, a member of Abbotsford's Matsqui Blades club, didn't put a lot of stock in the notion of home ice advantage at ARC.
"You know the rink, you know the ice, but it's different every time," she explained.
Johnson accounted for half of the 10 speed skating medals won by Abbotsford athletes. 
Alex Chizawsky, Madison Karpes and Michael Warkentin joined forces with Cara Maltese of Port Coquitlam to win gold for the Fraser Valley Zone 3 squad in the U16 3000m mixed relay.
Chizawsky added three other individual medals (silver in U16 boys 500m race 2, bronze in 500m race 1 and 1000m), while Karpes took silver in the U16 girls 3000m.

by Dan Kinvig
Abbotsford News


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