It was 11-year-old Tayne Kang’s first time competing in a speed skating tournament. He was at the Langley Sportsplex in Walnut Grove to participate in the annual Langley Blades Club speed skating meet.
Along with Kang, about 140 more skaters of all levels participated in the tournament on Saturday, Oct. 22. These skaters came from all around B.C. and the United States.
Kang, a Coquitlam resident, represented the POCO lightning speed skating club.
His first race had two rounds – one of four laps and the other of 10.
Kang maintained his second position throughout the four laps in the first round but couldn’t overtake the person ahead of him as he “was flicking a lot of ice,” he explained.
“It was pretty hard to catch up, because every time I got close, he would flick more ice and it would get on my face.”
In the second round, Kang started late and was in the last position initially, but when other skaters began to slow down, he saw his opportunity.
He started to speed up and quickly got around to take first place.
Maintaining that spot throughout was even harder, Kang explained. He was tired, but his coach’s words of encouragement from the stands kept him going.
“I kept on pushing through… and yea! I got first place in the 10 laps,” he said with a smile.
Kang admitted that he is better at short tracks than longer ones, like a 10-laps race.
“But, today, I guess it was a special occasion,” he said because he was able to break his two personal best records.
Overall, Kang said he had a “great” experience.
“I was very proud of myself. It was my first competition, and I think I did good.”
Kang then went on to compete in the next level of the tournament.
These races, sanctioned by British Columbia Speed Skating Association, allowed athletes like Kang to collect points and qualify for other races like provincial and national championships.
Greg Butt, head organizer of the event, shared that these local meets encourage athletes, especially young kids, to push themselves, skate for their personal bests, and qualify for championships.
The one-day-tournament had races of various distances, ranging from 100 to 1500 metres.
The scores from today’s tournament will be uploaded at speedskatingbc.ca.
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