Canada’s Christine Nesbitt wins silver at speed skating World Cup

KOLOMNA, Russia – Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., showed she’s fast on European ice too on Sunday as she won the silver medal in the women’s 1,500-metres at the third stop on the long track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Three-time world champion Anni Friesinger of Germany took the gold in 1:55.29, Nesbitt followed in 1:56.21 and Daniela Anschutz-Thoms of Germany was third in 1:57.10. Kristina Groves of Ottawa was fourth in 1:57.33.

‘’I didn’t have a great start in today’s race but I made up a bit of time on the laps,’’ said Nesbitt. ‘’I was technically strong particularly over the last two laps. The ice here was very hard and because of my technique I was able to hold my race together.’’

Nesbitt won the opening two 1,500 races at the North American World Cup stops in Salt Lake City and Calgary last month. She leads the World Cup standings with 280 points. Groves is second with 210, while Friesinger moved up three places to third at 180.

‘’It was very important for me to come over here and do well right away,’’ said Nesbitt. ‘’The European ice is usually slower so this was big boost for my confidence.’’

Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg was paired with Friesinger in the third to last pair of the day. Klassen was disqualified for hindering the German on the last crossover.

Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg was 12th. In the B Group, Nicole Garrido of Edmonton was seventh.

In the men’s 10,000, Havard Bokko of Norway won the gold medal. Justin Warsylewicz of Regina was 11th. In the B Group, Lucas Makowsky of Saskatoon was 12th, Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., 17th and Aaron Sadlier of Norwood, Ont., 19th.