KEARNS, Utah — Olympic hopeful Theresa Cliff-Ryan dropped out of the 1,500 meters at the U.S. speedskating trials Tuesday after being injured during a training mishap.
Cliff-Ryan sustained a concussion and several broken teeth when clipped from behind by a crashing skater while standing on the infield at the Utah Olympic Oval on Monday during an off day in the competition.
Her coach, Matt Kooreman, said she will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, when the 5,000 meters will be held.
“If she gets cleared then I think she’ll go,” he said. “She has intention to race. It’s just (dependent on) how she feels.”
The 35-year-old Cliff-Ryan wasn’t at the arena Tuesday but tweeted, “Thanks everyone 4 the well wishes. I’m doing well considering & so happy it wasn’t worse.”
Kevin Geminder caught the outside edge of his clapskate and fell on the front straightaway while going full speed during a training session. He slid off the track and into Cliff-Ryan, flipping her into the air. She landed on her face.
Geminder skated in the 1,500 on Tuesday and finished 25th.
“I was still shaking from what happened yesterday,” he said. “Even though everyone told me it wasn’t my fault, I still feel bad. My injuries were very minor. I ended up very lucky. Unfortunately, she didn’t.”
Davis, Richardson victorious again
Shani Davis and Heather Richardson established themselves as leading medal contenders heading into the Sochi Olympics, winning the 1,500 meters Tuesday.
Davis already had qualified in the 1,000 — the race he won at the last two Olympics. He cruised to victory in the 1,500 at 1 minute, 43.20 seconds. Now, he’ll look to improve on the silver medals he won in that event at both Turin and Vancouver.
Richardson crossed the line in 1:54.19 to capture the women’s race, beating friendly rival Brittany Bowe for the third straight time at the trials.