Joey Mantia and Erin Jackson showed the world what they are made of in tonight’s races. The USA world team had skaters in every race tonight except senior women. These ladies could be found on the sidelines cheering their hearts out for their teammates who would in turn earn 5 medals in all, therefore doubling the USA medal count. They were also starting the wave and had the entire arena participating in no time.
First up was an amazing performance by Erin Jackson in the junior ladies 500 meter final. Erin started in front and stayed there earning herself a gold medal. This is her second medal at worlds. The first one was a bronze last year in Spain. There was some controversy after the semi as the tabulators made a typo which ended up showing Erin not making it to the final at all; but after getting the time sheets this was corrected. Unfortunately nobody told Venezuela as this poor girl went to the line for the final and was shocked to hear that she was not to be there. I guess that no matter what meet you attend there can always be issues.
Joey Mantia added another gold medal and champion’s jersey (this year a yellow jersey) to his collection in the 1000 meter final. Again Joey controlled the race proving once more that he is the champion that we have all come to love, respect and enjoy watching. The USA crowd chanted USA, USA, USA as he came around with the flag. For those of you that have never been here, it is really something to be a part of and can be somewhat emotional. It doesn’t matter if the medal is gold, silver or bronze. At worlds, any medal is a big deal.
The junior ladies relay was action packed with much back and forth transitioning. Sophie Webb gave the performance of her life as she started the race and battled it out with the other racers. There was no time to sit around in this race and this was quickly realized by Sophie, Alex and Erin. The trio finished in third place giving Sophie her first world medal. The junior men relay also ended with the USA team getting bronze. This time it would be Mario Valencia (a first time world team member) and Jonathan Blair seeing their first world medals. Justin Mannon was the anchor of the team who saw his third medal at this championship.
Senior’s Joey Mantia, Michael Cheek and William Bowen were up for the USA in the senior men’s relay. The team fought hard and in a roller coaster of a race the team triumphed with gold. This would not be Bowen’s first world medal but it was his first medal at the senior level. We are looking forward to the road portion of the championships to see if Joey can up his total gold medal count. Right now he is at 23 for senior and 12 for junior. We are hopeful that he will surpass 25 within the next couple days.