Canada ends successful World Cup speed skating season with two more medals

Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., and Kristina Groves of Ottawa won bronze medals on Sunday to conclude a successful World Cup season for Canada in long track speed skating.

The Canadians collected 27 medals on the nine-stop circuit this season.

In the men’s 1,500, Shani Davis of the U.S., broke the world record clocking 1:42.32 to lower his own mark of 1:42.68 set March, 19, 2006, also at Calgary’s Olympic Oval. Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands was second in 1:43.24 and Morrison took third spot in 1:43.43.

It was Morrison’s second medal this weekend – he won gold in Friday’s 1,000 – and fourth overall this season.

‘’It wasn’t a perfect race,’’ said Morrison, 21. ‘’I felt I had the capabilities to get into second place. I skated a bit too relaxed and I had a slower start than usual. Still it’s my second podium finish this season in the 1,500 so I’m satisfied. I planned this season to have my best results in March and right now that’s what’s happening.’’

François-Olivier Roberge of St-Nicholas, Que., was 12th, Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., 13th and Justin Warsylewicz of Regina 14th.

In the final 1,500 World Cup standings, Wennemars won a tight season battle over Italy’s Enrico Fabris. Wennemars and Fabris were tied atop the standings and were the last pair of the day. The Italian struggled on the first lap and wound up with the eighth best time. Morrison took third spot, just five points ahead of Davis.

In the women’s 3,000, Martina Sablikova of the Czech Repuplic took the gold in 3:57.04 with Daniela Anschutz Thoms of Germany second in 3:58.59 and Groves third in 3:58.62. It was a third podium for Groves this weekend. She was second in the 1,500 Saturday and third in the 1,000 Friday.

Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg was seventh, Clara Hughes of Winnipeg 10th, Michèle d’Amours of Ste-Foy, Que., 16th and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg 20th.

Sablikova takes the World Cup crown while Groves is the top Canadian in fifth.

The long track season is not over yet. This Thursday to Sunday, Salt Lake City hosts the world single distance championships. The world short track championships are this Friday to Sunday in Milan.