Canada’s Denny Morrison wins gold at speed skating World Cup

HAMAR, Norway – Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., won the gold medal Sunday in the men’s 1,000 metres at a long track speed skating World Cup competition. Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., was third. Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., added a silver in the women’s 1,000.

Morrison clocked 1:08.56 seconds for his second victory this season at the distance. He edged Simon Kuipers of the Netherlands second in 1:08.58. Wotherspoon was third in 1:08.59.

‘’I was a half second behind everyone after the first lap and I was little sceptical that I would win the race,’’ said Morrison. ‘’But I knew I had a strong last lap and capable of having faster finish than the others. That gave me confidence and I really held the race together.’’

Wotherspoon raced this weekend despite painful stomach cramps.

‘’Jeremy just did a fantastic job getting himself ready,’’ said Canadian coach Mike Crowe. ‘’He pushed everything else to the side, including the pain, and skated very well. We took him to the hospital Saturday for precautionary reasons and they didn’t find any infections. He slept well, felt a bit better today and raced well.’’

In the B group race, Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was sixth, Vincent Labrie of St-Romuald, Que., 10th and Matthew McLean of Winnipeg 12th.

In the 1,000 World Cup standings after seven of 10 races, Shani Davis of the U.S., still leads at 490 points and Morrison is second at 456. Wotherspoon is seventh.

In the women’s 1,000, Anni Friesinger of Germany took the gold in 1:14.81 with Nesbitt second in 1:15.84 and Ireen Wust of the Netherlands third in 1:15.85. Kristina Groves of Ottawa was fourth in 1:16.29.

‘’I was really happy with my race today,’’ said Nesbitt. ‘’I was hoping though to be closer to first but I can’t be that upset about it. Anni has a lot more experience than me and more years of training which makes a big difference. She’s just fine tuning her game while I’m still learning. Hopefully by the Olympic year she’ll be worrying about me a lot more.’’

Shannon Rempel was sixth, Cindy Klassen ninth and Brittany Schussler 15th. All three are from Winnipeg.

Friesinger leads the World Cup 1,000 standings with 660 points, Chiara Simionato of Italy is second at 440 and Nesbitt third at 370.

In the men’s 10,000 Justin Warsylewicz of Regina was sixth. In the B group race, Steven Elm of Red Deer was sixth, Lucas Makowsky of Regina ninth, Jay Morrison of Fort St. John, 17th and Peter Martel of Red Deer 21st.