Nesbitt Wins Gold in Berlin

Day two of the World Cup took place today in Berlin, with excellent results from Team Canada. Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) won gold in the women’s 1000m race in a time of 1:15.41. Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) skated to 11th in the 5000m event, while Mathieu Giroux (Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC) skated to third in Group B’s 5000m event.

Christine Nesbitt racing for the gold in the 1000m, Photo: Arno Hoogveld
“You never know what to expect since its the first World Cup,” commented Christine Nesbitt, whose impressive results continue. “I didn’t expect to win but I was hoping for it. I’ve been skating technically very well recently, the ice was really fast, and I felt good!” enthused Nesbitt. Joining her on the podium were Japan’s Nao Kodaira, who came second at 1:15.92, and the Netherland’s Margot Timmer in third in a time of 1:16.13. Also on the ice today were Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg), skating to fifth in 1:16.71, Kristina Groves (Ottawa) in 14th place in 1:17.69, and Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg) in 21st in 1:18.49. In Group B, Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg) earned second place in 1:17.74, and will move to Group A next week.

In the women’s 500m event, Nesbitt again skated well, into 13th place in 38.76. “This is the best result I’ve ever had in the 500m, so I know I’m improving. In particular, my start is getting better. I’m confident going into tomorrow; I know I can do well,” she concluded. Rempel also took to the ice, and with 39.47, earned 23rd place. In Group B, Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) earned fifth in a time of 39.44; Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary) skated to 17th with 40.57; and Justine l’Heureux (St-Tite, QC) came in for 20th at 40.87.

Giroux Earns Third; Moves Up To Group A

In Men’s racing, Canada’s Lucas Makowsky’s took 11th place in the 5000m event with a time of 6:28.71 – a strong start to his season. The race was won by Netherland’s Sven Kramer in 6:14.69; joined on the podium by teammate Bob de Jong in third place at 6:19.22, and Norway’s Havard Bokko in second place with 6:17.17.

Mathieu Giroux earned 3rd in Group B racing with 6:29.30. This result moves him up to A Group next week, where today’s results would have put him at 12th place. Giroux was pleased his performance “For the 5000m, I knew exactly what I needed to do for a place in the top three. In the end I had a bit of energy left, so I tried to push a bit, but my technique faltered a little bit.” When asked about the switch from short to long track skating, he commented, “Overall, this result is a good sign for the Olympic season. I’m settling into long track speed skating patterns now.” he mused. Other Canadian results in B division were Jordan Belchos (Thornhill Markham, ON) in ninth 6:34.51, Steve Elm (Calgary) in 11th at 6:35.62, and Jay Morrison (Fort St-John, BC) in 17th 6:38.44.

To complete this weekend’s long track events, Sunday in Berlin the men’s and women’s 500m final will be held, as well as men’s and women’s 1500m races.