Christine Nesbitt Takes Home Bronze in the 1500m

Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) was the top Canadian competitor this Saturday at the World Cup event in salt Lake City, Utah, placing third in the 1500m long track speed skating competition. Nesbitt added yet another medal to her recent successful run of podium finishes.

Despite the accumulating fatigue that has built up over a busy World Cup schedule, Nesbitt still managed a very good run, coming in at a more than respectable 1:54.16. The Dutch competitor Marrit Leenstra was the fastest skater of the day, crossing the line in 1:53.38, while her teammate Ireen Wüst came in right behind with the second best time of 1:53.75.

Mark Wild, Long Track National Team Coach for Canada, commented on Nesbitt’s performance. “Even though we’ve gotten used to a different scenario with all her gold medals of late, we’re very satisfied with the result. When you consider the time of the year we’re currently in, and the fatigue that gradually builds up over many weeks of races, she came through today with a great effort, and still managed to get on the podium in the process.”

After winning four gold medals in the 1500m as well as 5 golds in the 1000m competition, Nesbitt then won the World Sprint Championships in January, and followed by a second place finish in the World Allround Championships last week in Calgary.

“It’s normal that she’s fatigued after all the races she’s competed in. The World Allround Championships last week in Calgary was really taxing on her, but you can tell it was also the case for the other athletes involved, when you look at the results this week. We put a lot of pressure on our athletes to try to get the most we can out of them, but sometimes fatigue ends up becoming a big factor,” Wild explained.

Despite the fatigue, coach Wild pointed out the professionalism of the Canadian skater. “Despite the fatigue, Christine always shows the same high level of concentration out there, with the goal of having the best time possible. With her recent success, she puts added pressure on herself, pushing herself to the limit each time she steps on the ice.”

The other Canadian female skaters also came away with strong performances in the 1500m on Saturday. Cindy Klassen (Wnnipeg, MB) finished in 7th in a time of 1:55.25, while Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) ended in 8th place, a fraction behind Klassen in 1:55.26. For her part, Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) also competed in the Group A, coming in 18th position in 1:57.96.

In the Group B competition, rookie skater Kirsti Lay (Medicine Hat, AB) came away with a 7th place finish, crossing the line in a respectable 1:57.23.

Priceless Experienced Gained

Just two Canadian skaters participated in the 10 000m competition. Taking part in the Group B skate, Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK) took the 19th spot in 13:55.03, while his teammate Léo Landry (Chelsea, Québec) came in behind him in 20th, clocking a time of 14:23.24.

The grueling 10 000m race was won by Dutch skater Bob de Jong in 12:53.17. Korean Lee Seung-Hoon (12:57.27) and Dutchman Bob de Vries (13:01.83) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Canadian skaters head back to Calgary tomorrow, where they will get some much needed rest before heading to Heerenveen, the Netherlands, for the World Cup final taking place from March 4th to 6th.