Gold & Bronze in the 1500m at the World Cup in Heerenveen

Once again, Canada’s long track team had great success today, thanks to Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) and Christine Nesbitt (London, ON). Just when all bets were off, Groves skated with determination and managed to take away the victory with a lead of 0.69 seconds on German speed-skater Daniela Anschütz Thoms who was holding first position up until then.

With this second win in the 1500m at a World Cup this year Groves is now ranked first overall for the distance. “I was feeling good about the race and am very happy with my performance. Yet I do know competition will be tougher as the season progresses with the return of Anni Friesinger and Cindy Klassen. What I want to do is to stay constant and focus for the World Championship at the end of the season,” explained Kristina Groves in an interview.

With a superb race done minutes before her teammate, Christine Nesbitt, 2nd overall in 1500m World Cup standings last season, took the bronze.

“I was nervous today because I wanted to improve on my performance of last week in the 1500m. I really wanted to do well today. I had a great start and gave all I had in the last moments. It worked because I improved my ranking, » mentioned Christine Nesbitt after the race. The two medal winners are to be watched tomorrow as they partake in the 1000m and pursuit.

Still in the 1500m, speed skaters Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) and Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) finished 8th and 9th. In Division B, Clara Hughes (Winnipeg, MB) offered a solid performance ending 2nd with a time of 2:01.08.

In the 500m Ladies, Shannon Rempel took 16th place. In Division B, Tamara Oudenaarden (St-Albert, AB) finished 13th while Kerry Dankers (Melville, SK) ended in 21st place and Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB) in 24th place.

In the 5000m, Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) finished with the 14th best time. In the group B, Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) took 7th place. Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON), a new comer on the World Cup circuit, finished 9th and Jay Morrison (Fort St. John, CB) ranked right behind with 10th place. Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK) concluded the race in 21st position.

In the men 500m, Muncef Ouardi (Montréal, QC) continued to perform at a high level in the B Group. Ouardi was ranked 3rd along with Korean Lee Ki-Ho. François-Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) finished behind Ouardi in 5th place and Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, CB) took 6th. Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) finished 16th of the group.

Bad luck struck again the men team in the 500m. Vincent Labrie (St-Romuald, QC) did not finish his race. After a false start, Labrie lost a little bit of focus and fell at the start, cutting himself. Luckily, he should be back in December for the World Cup sprint in Asia.