NEWS: Nesbitt wins another World Cup gold in 1,000 metres

Canada also wins women’s team pursuit

OTTAWA – Christine Nesbitt, of London, Ont., continued her dominance of the 1,000-metre distance, winning her third consecutive 1,000-metre gold medal today at the Essent ISU World Cup in Heerenveen, in the Netherlands. Nesbitt also was the 1,000-metre champion in Chelyabinsk, Russia on Nov. 20, and Astana, Kazakhstan on Nov. 27. (ISU results website)

In her victory today in a time of 1:15.32, Nesbitt was 0.53 seconds ahead of Jing Yu of China (1:15.85) and 0.84 seconds faster than Yekaterina Shikhova of Russia (1:16.16).

The trio of Nesbitt, and Winnipeggers Cindy Klassen and Brittany Schussler, won the women’s team pursuit (3:00.01). They were 2.37 faster than Russia, who took silver, and 3.17 seconds ahead of Korea. Klassen, Nesbitt and Schussler shaved 2.06 seconds off their gold-medal winning time from the first World Cup of the season in Chelyabinsk on Nov. 20.

“The 1,000 was a good result, but wasn’t a perfect race,” said Nesbitt. “I had a fast start again like last week. I just didn’t have the speed in the first lap – I felt a bit unstable. But I had a really strong last lap, so I was still able to win that race.

“In the team pursuit, we were all a bit tired, especially after four weeks on the road, but it went really well,” added Nesbitt. “We stuck to our plan and communicated well. It was a nice surprise, ‘A’ to win and ‘B’ to get a track record.”

In the men’s 1,000-metre distance, Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg was fifth (1:09.29), Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was sixth (1:09.42), and Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., finished 17th (1:22.90). In division B, Kyle Parrot of Minnedosa, Man., was fifth (1:10.95) and Calgary’s Gilmore Junio was ninth (1:11.92).

Four skaters represented Canada in the women’s 1,000 metres division B: Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary was in fifth place (1:18.28); Klassen took seventh spot (1:18.62); Tamara Oudenaarden of St. Albert, Alta., was 14th (1:19.86); and Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel was 16th (1:20.10).

In the men’s team pursuit, Morrison, Toronto’s Jordan Belchos and Winnipeg’s Stefan Waples finished in fifth place (3:46.87).

Women’s 1,000 metres: Gold, Christine Nesbitt of Canada (1:15.32); Silver, Jing Yu of China (1:15.85); Bronze, Yekaterina Shikhova of Russia (1:16.16).
Men’s 1,000 metres: Gold, Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands (1:08.64); Silver, Sjoerd de Vries of the Netherlands (1:09.14); Bronze, Tae-Bum Mo of Korea (1:09.18).
Women’s team pursuit: Gold, Canada (Klassen, Nesbitt, Schussler) (3:00.01); Silver, Russia (3:02.38); Bronze, Korea (3:03.18).
Men’s team pursuit: Gold, the Netherlands (3:42.34); Silver, Korea (3:43.82); Silver, Germany (3:45.28).

The World Cup schedule continues in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Jan. 21 and 22, with the sprint distances. Canada will then host the World Sprint Championship at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29.

Canada has won six gold medals, two silvers and a bronze in this season’s long track World Cup circuit.

With Nesbitt’s medal in Heerenveen, and those from the short track team in Japan, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is to $26,000 (15 gold medals, seven silver and four bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.

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