Kristina Groves takes silver at Word Allround Championships in Hamar

Finishing first in the ladies's 1500m, Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) was en route to her best performance ever in a World Allround Championships. After four solid races in two days, Grove secured a second place finish in the overall standings at the event held in Hamar, Norway. Groves was only surpassed by Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic. Three other Canadian skaters were among the top 10 athletes. On the ladies' side, Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) finished 6th while Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) took 9th place in the cumulative standings. On the men's side, Denny Morrison (Fort St-John, BC) finished 7th overall.

“This is an unique competition in that you have to be on your game for every single race. There's definitely a strategic component and it makes for a very exciting competition. The nature of the competition is drilling. It really shows you the best of the allround skaters,” said Kristina Groves to news reporter after her second place win. “When I was a kid I never even considered I could be in such competition. As I progressed and as I got better I realized that it was a possibility. I am really happy with the end results. I did my best.”

Kristina Groves took first place in the ladies' 1500m thanks to a time of 1:56.17. Christine Nesbitt finished in second place with a time of 1:56.49 and third place went to Netherlands' Ireen Wüst (1:56.78). Brittany Schussler came in 9th with a time of 1:58.56, and Clara Hughes (Winnipeg, MB) finished in 15th place.

“I knew from the start it was going to be a tough one. It's been a full week-end and a full competition. With not much time between races, skating an allround can be a bit of shock for the system. I was a bit hurting in the legs for my race but it went by fast. I am glad it's all done and I am satisfied with the results,” mentioned Nesbitt as she was reflecting on this weekend's competition.

The ladies' 5000m race was won by Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic with a time of 6:55.54. Japanese skater Masako Hozumi (7:03.56) came in second and Germany's Stephanie Beckert (7:05.13) finished third. Kristina Groves was 4th with a time of 7:07.93. Brittany Schussler took 9th place with a time of 7:19.50 and Christine Nesbitt was 11th.

On the men's side, Denny Morrison came in 4th in the 1500m race with a time of 1:45.38. Only one hundredth of a second separated Morrison from the third place skater, American Trevor Marsicano (1:45.37). Havard Bakko of Norway won the race thanks to a time of 1:44.83. Following Bakko was Dutch skater Sven Kramer (1:45.01). Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) secured a respectable 9th place finish with a time of 1:47.28 and Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) was 12th.

The men's 10 000m race was won by Sven Kramer, who raced the distance in 13:05.21. Second place went to Bakko (13:11.01) and third place to Italian Skater Enrico Fabris (13:20.65). Denny Morrison finished 11th in the distance. The overall title on the men side went to Kramer, Bokko was 2nd and Fabris 3rd.

The Canadian team will be travelling later this week to Heerenveen in the Netherlands for the 8th stop of the Wolrd Cup. This will be a long distance competition where the 1500m, 5000m and 10 000m will be raced.