Nesbitt wins silver in the 1000m

Christine Nesbitt wins silver in the 1,000 meters at the World Cup in Japan
The Rocky Mountain House Speed Skating Club receives $1,000 from Intact Insurance World Cup Podium Tracker

NAGANO, Japan
– Skating in her 52nd career World Cup, Canada’s Christine Nesbitt won the silver medal in the 1,000 metres today to bring her season medal count to five and career tally to 62. The London, Ont., native took second place in the weekend’s first 1,000-metre race a time of one minute and 15.45 seconds at the Essent ISU World Cup #4 at the Nagano Olympic Memorial Arena in Nagano, Japan.

Nesbitt was second behind American Heather Richardson, who won in a time of 1:15.24. Dutch skater Lotte van Beek won the bronze medal in 1:16.15. Winnipeg’s Brittany Schussler took 16th place (1:17.97) and Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary was 20th (1:18.52).

“I think it was a pretty good race (the 1,000 metres). The last weeks of World Cups I feel like I’ve been struggling to find my skating a bit,” said Nesbitt. “It wasn’t a perfect race, but it was a step in the right direction. I feel like I built some confidence. There are a lot of mistakes that I made still, and they can be perfected. I’m excited about it and looking forward to working on those things.”

Winnipeg’s Tyler Derraugh had a World Cup career best fourth place finish in the 1,000 metres. He stopped the clock in a time of one minute and 9.98 seconds, missing his first career podium by 0.14 seconds. Pekka Koskela of Finland won the gold medal in 1:09.52 and Germany’s Samuel Schwarz took silver in 1:09.69. Skating four pairs after Derraugh, and with Schwarz, Kyou-Hyuk Lee of Korea took the bronze medal in 1:09.85. Koskela’s winning time in the last pair bumped Derraugh to fourth spot.

“It was a really exciting race today. I changed some of my focus points and technical points that I wanted to improve from the last 1,000 I did in Heerenveen,” said Derraugh. “I had some success in changing those in my race and it went a lot smoother and I felt a lot stronger towards the end of the race.”

Canada had two other skaters in the top 10 in the 1,000 metres. Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C. was sixth in a time of 1:10.19 and Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg took ninth place in 1:10.66. Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was 15th overall in 1:11.71.

In the women’s division A 500 metres, Nesbitt had an eighth place finish in a time of 38.51 seconds and Bucsis was 17th (39.04). In division B action, Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel took sixth place in 39.38 seconds and Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., was ninth (39.67).

In the men’s division A 500 metres, Calgary’s Gilmore Junio was 11th in a time of 35.28 seconds, followed by Gregg in 15th place (35.44) and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que., in 19th spot (35.75). In division B, William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask, was 13th in 36.00 seconds and Morrison was 17th (36.21).

In the women’s division 1,000 metres, Kaylin Irvine of Calgary was sixth in 1:18.81 and Rempel was seventh (1:19.34).

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance stands at $25,000 (6 gold, 12 silver; 7 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. This season’s 24th medal came from Guillaume Bastille, who took bronze today in the 1,500-metre at short track World Cup in China. Christine Nesbitt’s silver medal was Canada’s 25th medal this season. The Saint John Amateur Speed Skating Club and Rocky Mountain House Speed Skating Club (Alberta) will each receive $1,000 from the program.

The Essent ISU World Cup #6 (host committee website), featuring the 500- and 1,000-metre sprint distances, will be held at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on Jan. 19 and 20. Tickets are available online at http://www.speedsk8.ca/tickets.html.