Canada wins the gold medal in women’s pursuit at world single distance championships

Canada won the gold medal in the women’s pursuit on Saturday while Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., added a silver in the men’s 1,000 metres at the world single distance championships in long track speed skating.

In the women’s 2,400-metre pursuit, the Canadians with Kristina Groves of Ottawa, Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., and Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg took the gold in 2:58.15. The Netherlands with world champion Ireen Wust in the line-up was second in 2:59.18 and Germany, led by multiple Olympic champion Claudia Pechstein, was third in 2:59.38.

‘’We kind of surprised ourselves with the fact that we won,’’ said Groves, third on Thursday in the 1,500. ‘’We knew we had a shot but didn’t put any expectations on ourselves. But we have a lot of depth on our team. We can put out several combinations and be a threat any time. Today we were less conservative on the first lap and that gave us a cushion at the beginning. Our plan worked out well.’’

World record holder Shani Davis of the United States won gold in the men’s 1,000 in 1:07.28, just ahead of Morrison's 1:07.30. Lee Kyou-Hyuk of South Korea was third in 1:07.51. Morrison won the gold in the event at last weekend’s World Cup final, establishing a new Canadian record of 1:07.24.

‘’I wouldn’t say it was disappointing but I was definitely looking for another personal best this weekend,’’ said Morrison, 21. ‘’I made a couple of mistakes in the straightways and I was two-tenths off my start time (first 200-metres) from last weekend. But I followed it up with my best last lap ever.’’

Morrison was in the seventh of 12 pairs and patiently waited his final result.

‘’I thought the time was pretty good but I wasn’t sure it would hold up,’’ he said. ‘’I knew Shani would be strong on his home track and he really lit it up. For me it’s been really cool to do three 1,000 metres in the low 1:07’s. It’s been pretty neat to see my potential come through.’’

Brock Miron of Calgary was 12th and François-Olivier Roberge of St-Nicholas, Que., 15th.

In the men’s 10,000, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands smashed his world record set last month by more than eight seconds clocking 12:41.69 for the gold medal. Arne Dankers of Calgary posted his second fourth place finish this week clocking 13:11.25.

In the women’s 500, Germany's Jenny Wolf set two world records both previously held by Canada’s Catriona Le May Doan. She broke Le May Doan's record for the two heats of the 500 with a combined time of 74.42 seconds, 0.3 faster than Le May Doan's time in March 2001. Her time of 37.04 in the second race bettered the previous mark of 37.22, set in December 2001 by Le May Doan.

Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 13th, Kim Weger of Regina 18th and Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., 22nd.

Competition ends Sunday.