Morrison, 9th – Best Canadian in the Men’s 1500m
A Successful Day for Mathieu Giroux

Richmond (Sportcom) – After his 18th place finish in the 5000m, and a 13th place in the 1000m, Canadian Denny Morrison took ninth place in the 1500m event today, Saturday, at the Richmond Olympic Oval.  Mathieu Giroux came in 14th, while Lucas Makowsky took 19th place.  Alberta’s Kyle Parrott - who did not feel well this morning – did end up racing, and took 37th place.

The gold medal was won by the Netherland’s Mark Tuitert (1:45.57), who posted very fast times in his first two laps.  Tuitert was able to maintain his speed and win the event; adding to his medal collection which includes a bronze in the team pursuit event at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games.  Olympic Champion in the 1000m event, American Shani Davis skated to silver (1:46.10), Norwegian Havard Bokko (1:46.13) came in for the bronze, after earlier this week skating to fourth place in the 5000m event.

Morrison Stumped

Coming in at ninth place was certainly not what Denny Morrison had hoped for.  Up until the very last lap, the athlete from Fort St. John was attempting to skate to the podium, but found himself “exploding” in the last 400m.  “I don't know; that's kind of what's being happening all season long.  I get to the last lap and I lose my technique,” explained Morrison, who completed the 1500m event in a time of 1:46.93.   “Tonight (Saturday), I lost all my speed. It’s not like I gave up, I gave it everything I had, I really don’t understand,” concluded the Canadian who finished third in the same distance at the last World Championships.

If Denny Morrison was the picture of uncertainty, Mathieu Giroux was pleased with his performance.  The native of Pointe-aux-Trembles (Quebec) came in 14th place in a time of 1:47.62.  Paired with Olympic Champion in title, Italian Enrico Fabrice, Giroux had some difficulty managing his rhythm during the race.  “I thought that the Italian skater would be able to push me, but I kind of evaluated the situation badly,” explained the skater who is at his first Olympic Games.” But overall, I’m satisfied, I did what I came here to do; I don’t think I could have been in a better pair,” continued Giroux.  Of note is the fact that Mathieu Giroux’s last lap was the second fastest of the event. 

“Mathieu can be proud of his performance,” added coach Robert Tremblay. “He skated very well – to the height of our expectations.”

A “Dream Date” for Makowsky

Lucas Makowsky skated the distance in 1:48.61 – good for 19th place. “The performance itself wasn't quite ideal. It was not as free-flowing as I've would liked to. But it wasn't a horrible race either,” analyzed the athlete from Regina, who came 13th in the 5000m event earlier this week.  “However, with such a tight field, if you have one or two things that don't go ideally, or go as maybe you'd like, all off a sudden, you're bumped out quite a few places,” concluded the 22 year-old. 

At his first Olympic Winter Games, Makowsky was paired with American Shani Davis.  “I think it was a good thing being paired with him; when I saw the list, I was pretty excited.  It’s a big thing for me to skate in the last pair in an international competition – to do it at my first Olympics, here in Canada; it’s definitely something I’ll remember for a long time.” 

Giroux, Makowsky, and Morrison will return to the ice next Friday for the men’s team pursuit, where Canada has medalled twice in the World Cups this season.

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Written by Sportcom for Speed Skating Canada

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