Nesbitt fourth in 1000 m at World Championships

Christine Nesbitt fourth in 1000 m at World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships
Ivanie Blondin is eighth in the 5000 m

SOCHI, Russia
- Canadian Christine Nesbitt was 13 thousandths of a second from stepping on the podium, but had to settle for fourth place in the 1,000 metres at the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Sochi, Russia. In a late addition to the women's 5,000 draw, Ivanie Blondin skated in the first of eight pairs to finished eighth overall. The season and world championships wrap up Sunday with the two 500-metre races and team pursuit.

Summary of Canadians today: women's 1000m: Christine Nesbitt, 4th in 1:16.02; Kaylin Irvine, 13th in 1:17.60; Anastasia Bucsis, 18th in 1:18.75; women's 5000m: Ivanie Blondin, 8th in 7:13.16; Cindy Klassen, 16th in 7:35.88; men's 10000m: Jordan Belchos, 11th in a time of 13:33.10.

Skating in the last pair with American Brittany Bowe, Nesbitt, the defending champion, crossed the finish line in 1:16.02. Bowe came in at 1:15.87, good enough for the bronze medal. Russian Olga Fatkulina won the gold medal in 1:15.44, and Dutch skater Ireen Wust won her third medal in as many races taking silver in a time of 1:15.71.

"Disappointing today. I did the best I could and it was good enough for fourth place," said Nesbitt, who won three gold and three silver medals in her last six 1,000-metre races this season. "But, of course, I like to be on top of the podium, especially in the 1,000. I think it's my strongest event. Obviously the girls showed the ice can be pretty fast, so I have to figure out how to skate fast on it for next season."

Calgary's Kaylin Irvine and Anastasia Bucsis finished 13th and 18th, respectively. Irvine, who improved on her 17th place ranking from 2012, had a time of 1:17.60. Bucsis, competing for the first time in the 1,000 metres at the world single distances championships, recorded a time of 1:18.75. Bucsis is coached by Mike Crowe and Bart Schouten, and Irvine and Nesbitt fall under coaches Xiuli Wang and Mark Wild.

"My race was really good today. It's the best race I've had in the last couple of competitions," said Irvine. "I'm really happy with the transformation I've made over the last couple of weeks. My skating was not coming very easy. To turn it around for this meet was great."

"My race was solid. It wasn't magical, but I'm really happy with a few things I did well in it. It's definitely been a bit of a struggle this year," said Bucsis. "So to end on a solid note and taking that good feeling, some really positive things that I've worked through and applying it to races, is a good way to set up for next year (Olympics).

"It's really exciting to be here (in Sochi), knowing what's coming next year," added the 23-year-old.

In the women's 5,000 metres, Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin, coached by Wang and Wild, posted her fastest time outside of North America and her second fastest personal best. The 22-year-old, who only found out last night she was in the draw, took eighth place in a time of 7:13.16. Blondin was 15th overall in 2011.

"It (race) was really good. I'm really happy with the performance," said Blondin. "I started out pretty fast but I kept it calm and kept it relaxed. That's really what I had to do in that one race. I pulled off a pretty good time so I'm happy with that."

Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg recorded a time of 7:35.88 for 16th place in the 5,000 metres. The 33-year-old, competing in her ninth world single distances championships, was seventh in 2011 and 2012.

Martina Sablikova, of the Czech Republic, defended her 5,000-metre title winning in a time of 6:54.31. Wust won her second silver medal of the day finishing the race in 7:02.96, and Claudia Pechstein of Germany earned the bronze medal in 7:04.07.

Jordan Belchos, was 11th in the gruelling 10,000 metres in a time of 13:33.10, his second fastest time this season after setting a personal best of 13:18.41 in Kazakhstan in December. The 23-year-old, also coached by Wang and Wild, was 13th at the 2012 world championships.

"I was pretty happy with my race. Everyone knew the ice was going to be pretty tough and pretty slow," said Belchos. "If I took a corner off, I would drop three, four tenths (of a second). So it was a consistent fight (with the ice). It was the flattest (even timed laps) 10K of my life, and my last lap was my fastest."

It was a Dutch sweep in the men's 10,000 metres. Jorrit Bergsma won the gold medal in 12:57.69, followed by Sven Kramer in 12:59.71 for the silver medal and defending world champion Bob de Jong in 13:00.26 for bronze.