Nesbitt, Klassen & Belchos are Canadian champions

Nesbitt, Klassen and Belchos are Canadian champions at the single distances championships

CALGARY
– Christine Nesbitt turned out another gold-medal skate today defending her 1,000-metre title at the 2013 Canadian Single Distances Championships (long track), in a convincing time of one minute and 14.84 seconds - 1.83 faster than her closest competitor. Winnipeg's Cindy Klassen defended her 5,000-metre title winning gold, as did Toronto's Jordan Belchos in the men's 10,000 metres. The championships wrap up tomorrow at the Olympic Oval in Calgary with the 500 metres and mass starts. (SSC results; Olympic Oval results)

"I was happy enough with my race today," said Nesbitt of her second gold medal in as many days and third medal of the championships. "The last couple of weeks I haven't felt really comfortable on the ice. My technique isn't quite perfect right now, so I try to improve on an aspect of each race to boost my confidence. Today was better than yesterday, and yesterday was better than the day before. I'm happy with that but I need to keep improving."

Lining up in the eighth of ten pairs, Calgary's Anastasia Bucsis won the silver medal in a time of 1:16.67. This was the 23-year-old's first medal in the 1,000 metres at the Canadian championships. In the same pairing as Bucsis, Regina's Kali Christ earned her second bronze medal of the weekend finishing the race in 1:16.99. She edged out Winnipeg's Brittany Schussler, who had a time of 1:17.04, by five one hundredths of a second.

In the women's 5,000 metres, national team veteran Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg was the best of seven skaters to win gold in a time of seven minutes and 10.67 seconds. Klassen, who was the defending champion, set the Canadian record of 6:48.97 on March 19, 2006.

Skating in the last pair of the day, Tori Spence, of Kamloops, B.C., claimed the silver medal in a time of 7:23.12, and Ottawa's Lauren McGuire was the bronze medallist finishing in 7:27.24. It was Spence's first medal in the 5,000 metres and McGuire's second bronze medal (first was 2011) at the Canadian championships.

It was an Eastern Canada sweep in the men's 10,000 metres as two-time defending champion Jordan Belchos won the gold medal in a time of 13 minutes and 42.23 seconds. Quebec skaters Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier won the silver medal in a personal best time of 13:50.52, followed by Léo Landry taking third place in 13:58.10.

Chiasson-Poirier, of Laval, is competing in his first Canadian championships having just converted to long track in the fall. He started the season on the national short track development team. Competing in his fourth Canadian championships, Landry of Chelsea, won silver in the 10,000 metres in 2011 and bronze in 2010.