Kristina Groves wins all around bronze at world speed skating championships

BERLIN – Kristina Groves of Ottawa posted a second place finish in the 5,000-metre finale on Sunday en route to the bronze medal at the all around world championships in long track speed skating just ahead of Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., who was fourth.

Paulien van Deutekom of the Netherlands won the women’s all around crown with 162.191 points over four races. Her compatriot and defending champion Ireen Wust was second at 162.533 and Groves followed at 162.878 to equal her career best result at these championships. Nesbitt followed at 163.368.

Groves said she had one of her best 5,000 races in her career and clocked a negative split on her final lap. She clocked 7:06.22 to beat out her pair van Deutekom third in 7:07.10. Groves trailed the Dutchwoman by as much as 3.5 seconds earlier in the race. Groves was also fourth Sunday in the 1,500. On Saturday, she opened the competition, with a third in the 3,000 and fourth in the 500.

‘’I’m quite happy,’’ said Groves, third all around two seasons ago. ‘’It’s great to be on the podium. I was a bit disappointed in my 1,500 but I came back strong in the 5,000. My pair (van Deutekom) started out faster but I clawed my way back and ended up on her heels. I kept my weight forward and hit a good rhythm.’’

Nesbitt was third in the 1,500 and ninth in the 5,000, a distance she has done only six times in her career. On Saturday, she won the 500 and was fifth in the 3,000.

‘’My performance this weekend was a big step for me in my career,’’ said Nesbitt. ‘’I actually surprised myself. I gained the confidence that I know now I can contend at this competition. It was good for me to race the 5,000. My pair was faster and I was able to just focus on my own race. I know I can go faster.’’

Clara Hughes of Winnipeg was fifth in the 5,000 and 15th in the 1,500 Sunday for 11th all around. Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg was 11th in the 1,500 and did not qualify for the 5,000 finale. She finishes 15th all around.

In men’s competition, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands successfully defended his all around title winning the 10,000-metre finale for 148.494 points. Havard Bokko of Norway was second at 149.823 and Shani Dais of the U.S., the 1,500 winner, was third at 149.908.

Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., took second in the 1,500 and 11th in the 10,000 for sixth all around. On Saturday, he won the 500 and was ninth in the 5,000.

Lucas Makowsky of Saskatoon, in his worlds debut, was 13th all around after a 10th in the 1,500. Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., was 11th in the 1,500 for 17th overall and Justin Warsylewicz of Regina was 20th in the 1,500 for 21st overall.