Lukas Makowsky Breaks the Ice with Style

Lucas Makowsky (Regina, Saskatchewan) lived his first Olympic experience, and broke the ice with style for Canadian skaters with a 13th place in the men’s 5000m event at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games Saturday afternoon, at the Richmond Oval. Makowsky took 13th place in a time of 6:28.71.

Fellow Canadian Denny Morrison (Fort St.John, B.C.) took 18th place in 6:33.77 in the event, which was won by the Netherland’s Sven Kramer in 6:14.60; the latter won the World Championship title in the distance last March. In addition to winning the gold medal, Kramer set a new world record - despite Richmond’s reputation of slower ice – erasing the time of 6:14.66 set in 2002 by Kramer’s countryman Jochem Uytdehagge.

A specialist in short track skating until just last year, Korean skater Seung-Hoon Lee (6:16.95), surprised with a silver medal performance; Russia’s Ivan Skobrev completed the podium with a bronze-medal time of 6:18.05.

Makowsky was able to keep his pacing until two laps to the end of the race; it was at that moment that he had to dig deep into his reserves to maintain his technical efficiency.

“I had to keep moving my legs in the corners; that is where I tend to lose a lot of speed,” he explained about his race, after the event.

“I started skating at the same pace as I would have in Calgary (editor’s note: the ice at the Calgary Oval is considered to be faster than that of Richmond), but when I realized it, I didn’t want to stop. So, I decided to keep that rhythm for as long as possible. Skating like that in the first Olympic race of my career, its a huge thing for my confidence,” explained the 22 year-old athlete, who improved his personal best time at the Richmond Oval by 5 seconds, adding that the crowd’s encouragement gave him additional energy.

For Denny Morrison, who is above all a specialist in the 1000m and 1500m events, this race marked his first 5000m event on the international stage.

“It was good, and I could have maybe skated better, but it was only my fourth or fifth 5000m event of this year. My general objective was to feel the ice and be able to transfer the sensations from today to my upcoming races, where I have better chances,” indicated the skater from Fort St. John, (B.C.). Morrison skated three events at the Turin 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

“I wasn’t expecting to skate the 5000m event here, and I am really happy to have finished in the top 20,” added Morrison, who did not know his final ranking at the time of the interview.

Morrison and Makowsky will be joined by Mathieu Giroux (Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC) for the men’s team pursuit event scheduled for February 26th.

Sunday in the 3000m event, Canadian women Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON), Clara Hughes (Glen Sutton, QC) and Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) will take to the ice.


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Written by Sportcom for Speed Skating Canada