Christine Nesbitt breaks 1,000-metre world record at World Sprint Championships

Christine Nesbitt breaks 1,000-metre world record at World Sprint Championships

Audio MP3: Nesbitt, Irvine, Ouardi (English), Ouardi (French), Gregor Jelonek - Ouardi’s coach (English), Jelonek (French), Xiuli Wang - one of Nesbitt’s coaches

CALGARY – Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., broke the 1,000-metre world record today by almost half a second on the first day of competition at the Essent ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships 2012 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. In skating the 1,000 metres in one minute and 12.68 seconds, Nesbitt took off 0.43 seconds from Cindy Klassen’s record of 1:13.11, set on March 25, 2006.

“It's really great to do it (world record) here in Calgary,” said the defending sprint champion. “It’s great have a world record in Calgary in front of my teammates, and my friends and family, as well.

“No actually (in thinking about the record). Maybe that's why I skated a world record, though, because I wasn't thinking about it,” added Nesbitt. “I was pretty frustrated after my 500 (race). I kind of got a little bit angry, and I race well when I'm angry. It felt like a really, really good race. I don't know if I can ever go faster. But it felt really powerful.” In the 500 metres, the 26-year old took eighth spot in a time of 37.93 seconds.

The men’s and women’s world sprint champions will be crowned on Sunday after the second 500- and 1,000-metre races. Complete results are available on the ISU’s website.

In his first world sprint championship, Muncef Ouardi of Quebec City, skated to third place in the 500 metres in a time of 34.54 seconds. He beat his personal best by 0.30 seconds, skating on his old boots and blades. The 25-year-old’s skates were lost on the flight to Calgary after the World Cup last weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the 1,000 metres, he set another personal best with a time of 1:09.06 to finish 18th.

Shannon Rempel, competing in her ninth world sprint championship, skated the 500 metres in 38.75 seconds, finishing in 20th. In the 1,000 metres, the 27-year old Winnipeg native was 21st in a time of 1:16.50. Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine, in her first world championship, was 25th in the 500 metres crossing the finish line in 39.09 seconds. In the 1,000 metres, the 21-year old had a time of 1:17.26 for 23rd place.

In his third world sprint championship, Jamie Gregg, 26, of Edmonton, had a seventh place finish in the 500 metres with a time of 34.69, and was 20th in the 1,000 metres (1:09.13). Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., took fifth place in the 1,000 metres in a time of 1:08.05. In the 500 metres, the 26-year old had a time of 35.25 in the 500 metres for 20th place. These are his fifth world sprint championships.

Calgary’s Anastasia Bucsis was scheduled to compete in her first world championship, but a back injury kept her out. She was replaced by Rempel.