NEWS: Klassen & Morrison win their 1,000-metre races at Long Track Fall World Cup Trials

OTTAWA – World and Olympic champion Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg won today’s 1,000-metre race at Speed Skating Canada’s Fall World Cup Long Track Trials at Calgary’s Olympic Oval. Olympic medallist and world champion Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., took first place in the men’s 1,000 metres.

The trials continue Friday, as of 1 p.m., with the 1,500-metre races. The women’s 3,000-metre and men’s 5,000-metre will be highlighted on Saturday, starting at noon. Sunday’s competition, starting at 10 a.m. will see the 500-metre races, the 5,000-metre distances for women and 10,000-metre for men.

Klassen, in a time of 1:16.67, beat development team member Anastasia Bucsis from Alberta by 0.61 seconds. Fellow Winnipeg-native and national team member Shannon Rempel came in third, 0.90 seconds behind the winner. Development team members Tamara Oudenaarden of Alberta and Kali Christ of Saskatchewan came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Morrison won with a time of 1:08.67, which was faster than teammates Jamie Gregg (0.36 seconds) of Edmonton and Lucas Makowsky (0.48) of Regina. Rounding out the top five men were development team skaters Gilmore Julio of Alberta in fourth and Kyle Parrott of Manitoba in fifth.

Twenty-five (25) women are competing in the following distances: 500, 1,000, 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000 metres. More than 35 men will face distances of 500, 1,000, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

The trials will be used to identify the team for the first three World Cup competitions. The first World Cup event for the long track team is Friday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 20 in Chelyabinsk, Russia, quickly followed by the second competition in Astana, Kazakhstan, from Friday, Nov. 25 to Sunday, Nov. 27. The third World Cup is again only a couple of the days later running from Friday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 4 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Based on last year’s World Single Distance Championships, the top five in an individual event or top three in the team pursuit, several athletes were pre-qualified for the fall World Cups. Christine Nesbitt will compete in the 1,000- and 1,500-metre races and in the team pursuit. Joining Nesbitt in the team pursuit are Klassen and Brittany Schussler. Morrison will race in the 1,000 metres and Makowsky in the 1,500-metre. Mathieu Giroux will join both in the men’s team pursuit.

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