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By Brad Spencer
Long track speed skater Emery Lehman of Oak Park won the 5,000 meters Saturday at the World Junior Championships in Collalbo, Italy.
Lehman, 16, clocked 6 minutes, 38.76 seconds for a decisive victory over Andrea Giovannini of Italy (6:43.50).
"I knew what the junior track record was by the first day I got here and thought it was a long shot, but my coach told me it was in my reach on Friday," said Lehman through a press release issued by usspeedskating.org. "When Saturday came along and everyone was skating slower and it was colder out, I thought 'no way' because I've been struggling these last few weeks. But, during my race, I could feel I was close to it and I think that's what fueled me to do so well."
The OPRF High School junior had won a bronze medal in Friday's 3,000-meter race. He also placed 15th in the 1,500 meters on Saturday.
Lehman is the youngest to win at any distance since the single-distances component was added to the championships starting in 2009, according to John McLennan of speedskatingresults.com.