Christine Nesbitt: Queen of the 1000m

Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) won her second gold medal in the 1000m event, Sunday, at the second long track World Cup in Berlin, Germany. She is undefeated in the distance, as well as in the 1500m, so far this season.

Nesbitt crossed the line in 1:15.86, besting American Heather Richardson by 45 one-hundredths of a second. Richardson finished in 1:16.31 for the silver medal. The Netherlands’ Margot Boer took the third step on the podium with her time of a 1:16.51. “This is the first time that I’ve been paired with Boer, who is one of the best 1000m skaters in the world,” explained Nesbitt. “She is always really fast in the first 600m, but I focused on my own race because I knew I’d have a better last lap than she would,” analyzed the Canadian.

With this second victory in as many races, Nesbitt increases her points lead at the top of the overall international rankings in the distance; Boer is currently sitting in second, behind by 50 points.

For a third consecutive week, Nesbitt will be in action in Hamar, Norway in a week’s time for a long distance world cup. Regarding her demanding schedule, and the progress of her elbow injury, she said “I had another busy weekend - I did five races last week and this week too, so my it’s not so much my elbow that hurts as my whole body!” she joked. “I’m a middle distance specialist, I always do the 1000m and the 1500m events. I always try to do the long distance World Cups because I know that if I can race a good 1500m, then my 1000m will be strong.”

Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) came seventh with a time of 1:17.00; Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) skated to 17th in 1:17.92, while Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) finished 18th in a time of 1:18.02.

Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) raced in Group B, skating the distance in 1:18.25 – which earned her third place. Norway’s Hege Bokko took the top spot, 68th hundreds of a second ahead of Klassen.

In men’s racing, Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, B.C.) was the fastest Canadian man on the ice in the 1000m event, crossing the line in 1:09.83 for ninth place. American Shani Davis took the win in 1:08.82, Korea’s Lee Kyou-Hyuk took the silver in 1:09.08, and the Netherlands’ Simon Kuipers took bronze in 1:09.11. Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) finished in 17th place with his time of 1:11.07.

In Group B in the same distance, Gilmore Junio (Calgary, AB) earned tenth place in 1:11.56. Muncef Ouardi (Charlesbourg, QC) skated to 17th place in 1:12.02, and William Dutton (Humboldt, SK) finished 22nd in 1:12.80.

A Scare for the Canadian Women in the Team Pursuit

Groves, Klassen and Schussler comprised Canada’s Team Pursuit members. They were unable to complete the race however, as Groves took a spill, and hit her head rather hard. Choosing to be better safe than sorry, the women did not finish their race. Happily, Groves is fine and the fall was more of a scare than anything else.

Team Germany’s women were the fastest on the ice with a time of 3:04.91, followed by the Netherlands who took silver in 3:05.50, and Team Norway who crossed the line in 3:06.67 for bronze.

Canada’s men’s Team Pursuit featured skaters Morrison, Riopel and Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK), who united their efforts to earn themselves fifth place, in a time of 3:48.24 – only three seconds away from bronze medallists Team Netherlands, who completed the event in 3:45.38. The event was won by Team U.S.A. in 3:43.10, while silver belonged to Team Norway in 3:44.65

Next weekend, long track skaters will be in action in Hamar, Norway, for the third World Cup of the season.