Canada Scores Team Pursuit Silver

Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK), Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) and Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK) earned the silver medal in the men’s Team Pursuit event at the Hamar Long Track World Cup in Norway this Saturday.

Americans Shani Davis, Jonathan Kuck and Trevor Marsicano skated to gold with a time of 3:43.58, their second Team Pursuit gold this season. Team Canada was only 1.03 seconds behind Team U.S.A. Last Sunday at the first Team Pursuit event, Morrison, Warsylewicz and Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) finished fifth. Norways’ team of Havard Bokko, Henrik Christiansen and Fredrik van der Horst finished third in a time of 3:47.01.

“We had a great race,” confirmed Morrison. “It was good to skate again with Lucas, who won the gold with me in Team Pursuit at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Justin skated really well again today, so it’s good to know we have another guy that can skate in the event and battle it out for the gold.”

Each of the members of Canada’s long track pursuit team also competed in the 1500m event this Saturday. Morrison finished in sixth place in a time of 1:46.53, only 99 one-hundredths from the winner, while Makowsky skated to 16th in 1:49.07.

Third in the overall rankings of the 1500m event last season, Morrison is not worried about his early season results this Autumn. “In terms of technique, everything is going well, but my lack of training this summer showed a bit in the last lap. I’ve really been focusing on my technique with my new coaches since I’ve been back on the ice. Technique is what I was missing last season; however it’s my lack of training right now that is responsible for my results,” he concluded.

The British Columbia native doesn’t regret the time he took off this summer, “I really needed the rest, especially mentally.”

In Group B, Riopel skated to fifth place in 1:49.97; Warsylewicz came ninth in 1:50.82.

In women’s racing, the first 5000m event of the season took place today. Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) was the fastest Canadian woman on the ice, finishing sixth in 7:13.24, at 14.06 seconds from Germany’s Stephanie Beckert who won the event. Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) followed her teammate in seventh place in a time of 7:13.76.

Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB) skated to ninth in 7:18.65, while Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, ON) crossed the line in 7:30.29 for 15th place in Group B racing of the same distance.

In the overall rankings for the 3000m and 5000m events, Schussler currently sits in fourth place, only 10 points away current leader, the Czech Republic’s Martina Sablikova.

Sunday the women’s 1500m event and Team Pursuit are on the menu, while the men will take to the ice for the 10 000m.

Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) will be one to watch during Sunday’s racing, as she attempts to defend her gold medal winning streak in the 1500m event.