Sport Shorts: Guiding Speed Skaters Toward 2014

Ireland to Direct Speed Skaters: He spent five years as a national athlete, then eight years as national coach, and now Sean Ireland has been named long track program director for Speed Skating Canada. In this role, he will guide some of this country’s top medal hopefuls toward Olympic and international podiums.

A speed skater himself, Ireland was twice an Olympian in the early 1990s. He was both a 500- and 1,000-metre specialist, and competed at the 1992 Games in Albertville and the 1994 Games in Lillehammer. In the latter, Ireland achieved his best results finishing 16th in 1,000 metres and 17th in 500 metres. He burst onto the scene in 1989, winning silver at the World Junior Championships in 500 metres. His greatest impact, though, has been coaching Canada’s skaters to tremendous heights for most of the past decade.

Wallace M-Arches On:: There is one really good archer from Medicine Hat, Alberta, who just notched her third World Cup medal of the year. Ashley Wallace won bronze in senior compound at an event in Antalya, Turkey. Several weeks ago, Wallace won two gold medals at the first World Cup, in the compound event and in the mixed team compound event. Wallace remains in the No. 1 slot overall this year, one point above British archer Nicky Hunt. Watch for this rising Canadian star next at a World Cup Aug. 3-7 in Ogden, Utah.

Volleyball in Tijuana: The Canadian women’s volleyball team starts play Friday in the Pan Am Cup, running to June 26 in Tijuana, Mexico. It will be a big tune-up for the World Championships set for Tokyo in October. The Pan Am Cup features five of the world’s top-15 teams, including No. 1 Brazil. Canada is No. 24.

North Bay Honours Omischl: Hometown hero Steve Omischl was honoured Tuesday in North Bay, Ontario at the unveiling of a new sports complex in his name. To open next year, the complex includes three athletic fields and three ball diamonds. It is dedicated to a freestyle skiing legend, who is a three-time Olympian, three-time World Cup aerials champion, two-time overall World Cup champion and 2005 world champion. A fine resume to say the least. Omischl called the sport complex a “huge honour.”