Denny Morrison wins gold in the 1500m at Erfurt World Cup

D. Morrison, photo: Arno Hoogveld
Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) was at the top of his game when he skated the men's 1500m today. By crossing the finish line in 1:45.32 minutes, Morrison, who holds the world record in the distance, was able to surpass his closest rivals, American skaters Trevor Marsicano (1:46.00) and Shani Davis (1:46.25), to win the gold medal. With this time, Morrison also established a new track record.

“It's actually my first win ever in the 1500m at a World Cup. It's certainly a milestone. It's awesome, training is going pretty well and putting me in the right direction. Actually, I felt stronger in my skating today than in a lot of the 1000m I have done this year. The last lap is where I won the race today. It felt good, I felt like I still had energy for that last corner and straightaway,” said Morrison. “Things have been going well for me for the past few weeks. I am happy of winning. I am pretty close to the top of my game but there's always place to improve my speed, it’s an ongoing battle.”

Also in the men's 1500m, Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) ranked in 8th place with a time of 1:47.75. Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) ended in 13th place, and François-Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC), took the 17th place. The only Canadian to skate in Division B, Mathieu Giroux (Montréal, QC), was able to take a very respectable 9th place with a time of 1:50.97 minutes. Giroux is skating his first career long track World Cup. It was the Dutchman Wouter Olde Heuvel (1:47.35) who won the race in Group B.

Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) continued to shine in the 500m. This time, Gregg took 8th place with a time of 35.48. First place went to the American Tucker Fredricks (34.91). Vincent Labrie (Lévis,QC) ended in 12th place while teammate Muncef Ouardi (Montréal, QC) was 14th.

In Division B, Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, MB) offered once again a superb performance to win second place thanks to an improved time of 36.07 seconds. This is a second 2nd place in two days for Parrott. Only the Dutch skater Beom Nijenhuis raced the distance faster than Parrott. Nijenhuis won first place with a time of 35.79 seconds. Denny Morrison made it into the top 10 with a time of 36.35 seconds for 9th place.

Thanks to a time of 4:07.60 minutes in the 3000m, Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) finished in 7th, only 3.95 seconds behind the gold medalist Martina Sabliokova (4:03.65). Germany's Daniela Anschotz Thoms (4:05.14) was second while the Netherlands' Renate Groenewold (4:06.60) finished third. Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) was ranked 10th with a time of 4:08.04. Clara Hughes (Winnipeg, MB) finished 13th while Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) came in 14th.

All Canadian skaters in the women’s 500m were in the B group. Kim Weger (Regina, SK) claimed third place with a time of 39.57 seconds. It was Russia's Kaykan (38.75) who won the race. Second place went to the Italian skater Chiara Simionato (39.46). Three other Canadians were racing the distance, including two who made it to the 10 top. Tamara Oudenaarden (St-Albert, AB) took 6th place with a time of 39.76 seconds and Kerry Dankers (Melville, SK) came in 9th with a time of 40.07 seconds. Danielle Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) took 12th place.
D. Morrison and Coach Marcel Lacroix, photo: Arno Hoogveld

To conclude the World Cup, both men and women will skate the 1000m and team pursuit tomorrow.