Christine Nesbitt takes the silver medal at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary

Christine Nesbitt takes the silver medal at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary

Jing Yu of China breaks 500-metre record and wins sprint crown

Audio MP3: Nesbitt (English), Nesbitt (French), Gregg, Ouardi (English), Ouardi (French)

CALGARY – Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., skated the second fastest ever 1,000-metre race today in one minute and 12.94 seconds at the Essent ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships 2012 at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, but it was not enough to repeat as women’s sprint champion. After four races, Nesbitt finished with 148.630 points for the silver medal, while Jing Yu of China had 148.610 to claim gold by a margin of 0.02 points. Hong Zhang of China was third (149.705). Complete results are available on the ISU’s website.

“That’s really annoying – I basically skated two world records and still didn’t win. It’s disappointing,” said Nesbitt. “It (1,000 metres) was a pretty good race. I wanted to go under 1:13.00 again and I was happy I did that. Now I wish I had gone even faster. I had really good 1,000s, but my 500s weren’t as strong as I wanted them to be.

“I really wanted to win here. I wanted to defend my title from last year. I wanted to win at home,” added Nesbitt.

In the 500 metres, Nesbitt skated 0.03 seconds faster than yesterday for a time of 37.90 and 10th place. Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine took 0.22 seconds off her first 500 metres for a time today of 38.87, and a 24th place ranking. Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel finished 21st and was also 0.21 seconds faster with a time of 38.54.

Skating in the pair just before Nesbitt, China’s Jing Yu broke 500-metre record in a time of 36.94 seconds. Yu was second in the 1,000 metres, behind Nesbitt, recording a time of 1:13.47.

Irvine skated to 20th place in the 1,000 metres today, recording a time of 1:16.71, 0.55 seconds faster than yesterday’s race. She finished 23rd overall after four races and Rempel was 25th.

In the men’s overall ranking, Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg was ninth with 137.855 points, followed by Quebec City’s Muncef Ouardi in 10th (138.045) and Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., in 13th (138.615). Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands was the men’s overall champion (136.810), and Koreans Kyou-Hyuk Lee and Tae-Bum Mo were second and third, respectively.

In today’s men’s 1,000 metres, Gregg had time of 1:08.23 (9th place), Morrison was clocked at 1:08.28 (10th), and Muncef Ouardi crossed the finish line in 1:08.56 (16th). In the 500 metres, Gregg had a time of 34.48 seconds, 0.21 seconds better than Saturday. Ouardi, who was third in the first 500 metres, had a time of 34.69 seconds. Morrison was at 35.20, 0.05 seconds off his time from Saturday. Gregg was fifth in the 500 meters, followed by Ouardi in 10th and Morrison in 24th.