Solid Results for Canada at Berlin Long Track World Cup

Team Canada’s skaters posted solid results, but came away empty-handed for the first time this season, Saturday at the Berlin Long Track World Cup.

Three Canadian skaters cracked the top six in the women’s 3000m event; Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) was the fastest Canadian woman on the ice today, coming in fourth with a time of 4:07.04 – 92 one-hundredths of a second from the bronze.

“I had a good race,” commented Schussler. “I would have liked to have been a bit faster so I could get to the podium, but it was still a great race for me, it’s my best result in the 3000m. I’m taking it one step at a time, and I hope that next step is onto a podium!”

Following their teammate, Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) earned fifth in 4:07.13, while Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) came across the line in 4:07.40 for sixth place. Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) came in eleventh in a time of 4:11.34.

In related news, Nesbitt received today the title of Female Athlete of the Year at the 38th Annual Canadian Sport Awards, organized by the True Sport Foundation. This is the second year in a row Nesbitt has won the award.

American Jilleanne Rookard won the 3000m event, besting her closest rival by more than a full second. Rookard’s time was 4:04.39; the Czech Republic’s Martina Sablikova raced to silver in 4:05.83, and Germany’s Stephanie Beckert earned bronze.

Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB) was the sole Canadian woman skating in Group B, and she finished seventh; her time of 4:15.02 placed her 3.5 seconds behind the Netherlands’ Marrit Leenstra, who took the win.

In the men’s 1500m, Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) completed the distance in 1:46.32, finishing in fifth place, roughly one second behind the winner - and his racing pair - Norway’s Havard Bokko (1:45.27). “I took advantage of being paired up with a great skater in order to get a good time,” said Makowsky. “It’s the best 1500m time of my season so far. I decided to attack at the beginning of the race this week, and trust in my fitness to get me through.” American skater Trevor Marsicano took the silver medal (1:46.15) and Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands bronze (1:46.31).

In Group B’s racing of the same distance, Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, B.C.) had a good skate, crossing the line in 1:46.98. His performance today placed him at the top of Group B’s results, and would have earned him 12th place in Group A.

Also skating in the B group were Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) and Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK) who finished 9th and 10th with their respective times of 1:49.84 and 1:50.00.

Rempel and Labrie – Fastest Canucks in Today’s 500m Event

Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) posted Canada’s best women’s result in the 500m event, taking ninth with her time of 39.10. Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) came 16th in 39.30, followed by Nesbitt in 17th with 39.38. German Jenny Wolf once again won the race, in a time of 37.98. She stepped on the podium along with Margot Boer (Netherlands, 38.46) and Lee Sang-Hwa (Korea, 38.56).

Vincent Labrie (Saint-Romuald, QC), was Canada’s fastest male skater in today’s 500m event, finishing in 16th with 35.63. Gilmore Junio (Calgary, AB) came across the line in 35.89 – good for 21st place. Finnish Pekka Koskela won in 34.90, closely followed by American skater Tucker Fredricks (34.91). Lee Kang-Seok of Korea won the bronze medal in 35.13.

In Group B, William Dutton (Humboldt, SK) finished second with a time of 35.78; Muncef Ouardi (Charlesbourg, QC) skated to seventh in 36.12, and Denny Morrison finished 16th in 36.62.

Sunday the women and men will each dispute their 1000m events, as well as the team pursuit.