Klassen & Morrison top Canadians

Klassen and Morrison top Canadian skaters at World Cup in Norway

HAMAR, Norway – Canada was kept off the podium today at the Essent ISU World Cup in Hamar, Norway, but Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen and Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., had top 10 finishes.

Audio (MP3): Klassen (interviewed by Riopel), Morrison (interviewed by Schussler), Tutt (interviewed by Morrison)

In the men’s 1,500 metres, Morrison was tied for fourth place with Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway. They finished in one minute and 47.562 seconds, only 0.01 seconds slower than Stefan Groothuis and the bronze medal. Morrison earns 60 points to move him to third place in the 1,500-metre standings.

Skating in the women’s 3,000 metres, Klassen crossed the finish line in four minutes and 10.08 seconds for fifth place and 50 World Cup points. After four 3,000-metre World Cup races, she is in fifth place with 190 points.

Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., was 10th (4:14.20) in the 3,000 metres, followed Winnipeg’s Brittany Schussler in 13th place (4:14.77) and Nicole Garrido of Edmonton in 20th (4:22.20).

Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, Alta., took part in his first career World Cup in Norway. She was 12th (4:19.62) in the 3,000 metres division B. Tutt also joined Klassen and Kali Christ of Regina in the team pursuit. Canada took seventh spot in a time of 3:09.34.

Regina’s Lucas Makowsky also skated in the 1,500 metres division A, finishing 13th (1:49.84). In division B, Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was sixth (1:50.99), and Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was 17th (1:52.23).

Toronto’s Jordan Belchos joined Makowsky and Morrison in the men’s team pursuit, Canada finished in fifth place in a time of 3:47.84.

After Hamar, the 2011-12 long track World Cup schedule continues in Heerenveen, the Netherlands, from March 2-4.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $43,000 (21 gold medals, 15 silver and seven bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.