NEWS: Three top 10 finishes on first day of World Cup for Canada’s long track speed skating team

Audio (MP3): Nicole Garrido, Philippe Riopel

OTTAWA – Speed Skating Canada’s national long track team opened its season today at the first Essent ISU World Cup in Chelyabinsk, Russia, finishing with one top 10 division A ranking for the women and two for the men. (ISU results website)

Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen had the women’s best finish today with a sixth place ranking (4:08.60) in 3,000 metres, division A. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic took gold in a time of 4:06.54. Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg was 13th (4:13.58), followed by Nicole Garrido of Edmonton at 17th (4:14.71) and Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin was in 24th spot (4:18.01).

In the men’s 1,500-metre race, Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was the best Canadian taking fifth place (1:46.83). Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands was first in a time 1:45.70. Lucas Makowsky of Regina also competed with Morrison in division A, and was 17th (1:48.01). In the B division, Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was 11th (1:50.70) and Winnipeg’s Tyler Derraugh was 14th (1:50.79).

In the men’s 500-metre races, Jamie Gregg of Edmonton was the lone Canadian to crack the top 10. He finished in eighth place with a time of 35.25. Pekka Koskela of Finland won gold in a time of 35.00. Gilmore Junio of Calgary and Derraugh also skated in division A, finishing 15th (35.49) and 20th (35.67), respectively. In the B division, William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., was fifth (35.82), and Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was 10th (36.03).

In the women’s division A 500 metres, Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary and Nesbitt ended in a three-way tie with a time of 38.97, but were ranked 18th and 20th, respectively. Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel raced to a fifth place (39.35) finish in division B. Jing Yu of China was the division A winner in a time of 37.81.

The World Cup continues Saturday with the second men’s and women’s 500-metre race, and the women’s 1,500 metres and men’s 5,000 metres.

- Background notes: Team and athlete information is available in this document (PDF).
- Results: ISU results website will update the races as they happen.
- Updates: SSC will also use its Twitter account, www.Twitter.com/SSC_PVC, for updates. Also note the athlete’s individual Twitter account with their bios.

- end -