NEWS: Nesbitt wins gold medal in 1,500 metres at World Cup

Audio (MP3): Christine Nesbitt, , Mathieu Giroux (English), Mathieu Giroux (French), Lucas Makowsky (English), Lucas Makoswky (French), Junio Gilmore, Richard MacLennan, William Dutton

OTTAWA – Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., won her third medal of the season today when she took gold in the 1,500 metres at the long track speed skating Essent ISU World Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan. In a time of 1:56.10, Nesbitt beat Claudia Pechstein of Germany by 0.67 seconds and Ireen Wust of the Netherlands by 0.90 seconds. (ISU results website)

“It (my 500-metre race today) made me confident for the 1,500,” said Nesbitt. “Because I talked to my coaches, to Xiuli (Wang) and Mark (Wild) before, that I wanted to start really hard and just experiment and see what I can do when I start fast. I knew I had good speed and it was coming pretty easily.”

Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen was fifth (1:57.42) in the 1,500 metres race, and Brittany Schussler was 17th (1:58.93). In the B division, Edmonton’s Nicole Garrido was 11th (2:02.93) and Shannon Rempel, celebrating her 27th birthday today, was 17th (2:03.74).

In the women’s 500 metres, Nesbitt climbed up from yesterday’s 11th place to eighth today (38.47 seconds). Calgary’s Anastasia Bucsis was 18th (39.10). Rempel was fifth (39.57) in division B.

In the men’s 500 metres, Gilmore Junio of Calgary was sixth (35.23), five positions up from Friday’s race, and Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg was 13th (36.44), seeing an improvement of seven position. In division B, William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., was second (35.59), Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was sixth (35.73) and Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg was eighth (35.87).

In the men’s 5,000 metres, Toronto’s Jordan Belchos was 19th (6:33.86). In the B division, Mathieu Giroux, of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., raced to ninth place (6:36.00) and Regina’s Lucas Makowsky was 15th (6:38.86).

Women’s 500 metres winners: Gold, Jenny Wolf of Germany (37.984); Silver, Sang-Hwa Lee of Korea (37.985); Bronze, Nao Kodaira of Japan (37.99).
Men’s 500 metres winners: Gold, Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands (35.05); Silver, Tae-Bum Mo of Korea (35.06); Bronze, Tucker Fredricks of USA (35.19).
Women’s 1,500 metres winners: Gold, Christine Nesbitt of Canada (1:56.10); Silver, Claudia Pechstein of Germany (1:56.77); Bronze, Ireen Wust of the Netherlands (1:57.00).
Men’s 5,000 metres winners: Gold, Sven Kramer of the Netherlands (6:13.83); Silver, Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands (6:15.40); Bronze, Alexis Contin of France (6:17.43).

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

The World Cup continues Sunday with the men’s and women’s 1,000-metre race and the mass start.

With Nesbitt’s medal, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $19,000 (10 gold medals, seven silver and two 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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