Nesbitt’s Medal Sweep Continues; Morrison Back on the Podium

On the final day of World Cup action in Berlin, Canadians decorated the podium in nearly every event. Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) continued her winning ways with a gold in the women’s 1500m in 1:55.54; teammate Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) took bronze in 1:57.26, and Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) came in 4th with a time of 1:57.72. Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, B.C.) came back in style, winning bronze in the men’s 1500m.

Christine Nesbitt races to 1500m gold in Berlin, Photo: Arno Hoogveld
Earning her first ever back-to-back golds, Christine Nesbitt commented, “I was relaxed, it was a really fun race; its nice to be in control of your racing and what your body is doing. I’m communicating really well with my coach, I’ve grown a lot in the past year and I can still get better from here.” Nesbitt also had an impressive performance in the 500m race, coming in ninth in a time of 38.57 – another career best. Teammate Brittany Schussler approached her bronze medal win philosophically, “Yesterday being ninth was a surprise, and I knew that if I could put together a good race today, I could be on the podium.”

Also in the 1500m, Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) earned ninth place in 1:58.63, and Justine L’Heureux (St-Tite, QC ) was 24th with 2:04.32.

In the women’s 500m, Nesbitt finished 9th in 38.57 and Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) 22nd in 39.67. In Division B, Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) earned seventh in 39.87; Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) skated to 20th with 40.48; and L’Heureux came 24th in 41.23.

Morrison Wins Bronze

In Men’s 1500m racing, Denny Morrison won bronze with a time of 1:45.69; gold was won by American Shani Davis in 1:44.47, Norway’s Havard Bokko took silver in 1:45.56.

Denny Morrison racing the 1500m in Berlin, Photo: Arno Hoogveld
“I looked at the video from yesterday’s events and started working on a few things; there’s still so much to improve its exciting and frustrating all at the same time,” Morrison laughed. Despite recent successes, he remains cautiously optimistic, “You want to be your best in February.”

Fellow Canadians taking to the ice for the 1500m event were Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) who took 13th in 1:47.39; Mathieu Giroux (Pointe-aux-Trembles, QC) in 15th at 1:47.57; Steve Elm (Red Deer, AB) in 21st at 1:48.70. In Division B, Mykola Makowsky (Regina, SK) took 15th in 1:49.72.

In the Men’s 500m event, Muncef Ouardi (Charlesbourg, QC) took 21st in 36.23; in Division B racing, Richard MacLennan (Sault Sainte Marie, ON) came eighth in 35.92; Brock Miron (Brockville, ON) 13th in 36.15; François-Olivier Roberge (St. Nicolas, QC) 18th in 36.30.

In addition to medals, winners were given foot-tall milk chocolate bears, which should keep Team Canada’s spirits up while on the eight-hour drive to the Netherlands, where next week’s World Cup racing takes place.