Kristina Groves - Olympic Silver Medallist in the 1500m

Richmond (Sportcom) – Kristina Groves added a silver medal to her collection at the women’s 1500m event, Sunday at the Richmond Olympic Oval in a time of 1:57.14.  Last week, the athlete from Ottawa, Ontario, won a bronze medal in the 3000m event.  Taking the gold was the Netherland’s Ireen Würst (1:56.89); Czech skater Martina Sablikova (1:57.96) took the bronze medal today, adding to her gold medal in the 3000m event.   

Three other Canadians skated the distance: Christine Nesbitt (1:58.33) came in 6th, Cindy Klassen placed 21st (2:00.67) and Brittany Schussler skated to 35th (2:04.17).

“I feel good!  Not incredibly so, since it was really tough going in the last 200m, but still! You’re always searching for that perfect feeling, but in this race (Sunday) it was only sometimes there.  I think in a few days this will feel good,” explained Groves, who was smiling when she met with journalists.

“It was an incredibly hard race, and that is exactly what I expected.  So in that sense, I’m satisfied, but I think deep down that I could have skated faster. I'm happy with the result obviously, but to be honest with you I really wanted to win.  I’m not the type to be sad because I didn’t win a gold medal, but rather because I don’t feel like I skated my best in the last 200m.” Groves summed.

Though she slowed slightly in the last 400m, the Canadian lost top honours to Würst by only 0.07 seconds on the bell lap.  “Ireen had an incredible race, and she’s able to be at her best when it counts the most,” added the 33 year-old skater.

Coming in at sixth place, Christine Nesbitt was finally satisfied with the way she raced.  “I was happier today than I was with the 1000m event.  I just wanted to skate better than I had in my last race; I didn’t really realize how much pressure and stress was attached to this race,” revealed the London, Ontario native.  Nesbitt analyzed that her short stride did not allow her to develop maximum speed during the first half of the race. 

“The 1000m race took a lot out of me, even yesterday I was still tired.  In the 1500m race, I wanted to enjoy skating, because whenever I do that, I get to the podium.  Even if today that wasn’t the case, I still had a good race. Plus I still have my gold medal from the 1000m event, so I’m not upset!” winked the athlete who’s next race will be the team pursuit next weekend – that team too, is eyeing a gold medal.  

Finishing in 21st place, Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen had mixed emotions after the race. “I didn’t have the best start, but my first lap was good.  I would have liked to have held on for longer, but the third lap was really difficult.  It’s not easy finding a good glide on that ice,” she concluded.

Also from Winnipeg, Brittany Schussler had a difficult skate, literally.  Schussler was not able to perform to her abilities due to issues with a skate blade, which considerably disadvantaged her in terms of being able to push off powerfully.

The next long track event at the Richmond Olympic Oval will be the men’s
10 000m event; no Canadian will be racing.

Watch the race

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Written by Sportcom for Speed Skating Canada

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