Canada places three in Top 10 at all distances World Cup

Canada places three in Top 10 at all distances World Cup in the Netherlands
Gregg is 6th in the 500 metres, Morrison 7th in the 1,500 and Klassen 10th in the 5,000

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands – Canada’s long track speed skating team placed three skaters in the top 10 today at the all distances ISU World Cup in Heerenveen, the Netherlands.

Today’s World Cup races featured the men’s and women’s 500 metres, women’s 5000 metres and men’s 1,500 metres. They will race the second 500 metres on Saturday, as well as the women’s 1,500 and men’s 10,000-metre distance. The competition wraps-up Sunday with the men’s and women’s 1,000 metres and mass start.

Jamie Gregg of Edmonton was sixth in the 500 metres in a time of 35.29 seconds. Only 0.18 separated the gold medallist from Gregg, and 0.09 from a bronze medal. Dmitry Lobkov of Russian won the gold in a time of 35.11 seconds. Will Dutton of Humbolt, Sask., was 12th (35.50) and Gilmore Junio of Calgary was 15th (35.57).

Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., earned his 10th top 10 World Cup finish of the season, including three medals, with a seventh place ranking in the 1,500 metres in a time of 1:47.44. American Shani Davis won the gold medal in one minute and 46.89 seconds.

The lone Canadian in the women’s division A 5,000 metres was Winnipeg’s Cindy Klassen. The 32-year-old finished 10th in a time of seven minutes and 19.55 seconds. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won the gold medal, as only one of two skaters under the seven-minute mark (6:52.50).

In the men’s division B 500 metres, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que., took first place with a time of 35.67 seconds, and Quebec City’s Muncef Ouardi was fourth (35.98).

In the men’s division B 1,500 metres, Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was in 11th (1:51.90) place, followed by Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in 13th (1:52.27) and Winnipeg’s Stefan Waples in 20th (1:53.45).

In the women’s 500 metres, Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary took 16th spot in a time of 39.21 seconds. Jing Yu of China claimed the gold medal in a time of 38.03 seconds. In division B, Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., was fourth (39.67) and Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel was 10th (40.17).

In 5,000 metres division B, Edmonton’s Nicole Garrido was 14th (7:27.04) and Tori Spence of Kamloops, B.C., took 16th (7:36.99) spot.

The long track schedule continues with the World Cup Final from March 9-11, in Berlin. The long track season wraps-up in Heerenveen with the World Single Distance Championships, March 22-25. The skaters for these two competitions will be announced at a later time.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $43,000 (21 gold medals, 15 silver and seven 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.