Gregg & women's team pursuit win silver at World Cup Final

Jamie Gregg and women's team pursuit win silver at World Cup Final in the Netherlands
Patin Laval will receive $1,000 from Intact Insurance World Cup Podium Tracker program

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands
- It was a double silver day for Canada at the Essent ISU World Cup Final in Heerenveen, Netherlands, as Jamie Gregg won the silver medal in the first 500-metre race of the weekend and Kali Christ, Christine Nesbitt and Brittany Schussler combined to take silver in the women's team pursuit.

Skating in the seventh of 10 pairs in the 500 metres, Edmonton's Gregg had to watch as six more skaters battled to best his time of 34.96 seconds. It wasn't until the pair of skaters that Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands beat Gregg by 12 hundredths of a second, stopping the clock at 35.84 seconds for first place. Smeekens' fellow countryman Ronald Mulder took the bronze medal in 35.04 seconds. It was Gregg's first silver World Cup medal this season and fifth career (one gold, two silver and two bronze).

Calgary's Gilmore Junio earned his seventh Top 10 finish in 2012-13 World Cup 500-metre action, taking 10th place in a time of 35.23 seconds. Laurent Dubreuil, of Lévis, Que., coming in as a last minute substitute for a skater from another country who withdrew, was 19th in a time of 35.60 seconds.

With one more 500-metre race to go Sunday in the World Cup season, Gregg stands in fifth place in rankings with 448 points, while Junio is sixth with 412 points.

In the women's team pursuit, only the top four teams in World Cup standings competed today. Canada and the Netherlands skated in the second pair, with the Dutch winning the race and season title with a time of three minutes and 0.50 seconds. The Canadians had a time of 3:03.50. Poland took the bronze medal in 3:04.19 and Germany was fourth in 3:09.47.

Canada and the Netherlands were tied at 250 points coming into today's race. With 150 points for today's win and 120 for second place, the Dutch won the season title with 400 points to the Canadian's 370. Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin and Winnipeg's Cindy Klassen also earned second place honours along with Christ, Nesbitt and Schussler. Blondin took part in the first three of four competitions and Klassen won silver last weekend in Germany.

In the women's 500 metres, Nesbitt, of London, Ont., took 10th place in a time of 38.36 seconds. Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary was 18th with a time of 38.94 seconds. Germany's Jenny Wolf won gold in 37.77 seconds, followed by China's Beixing Wang in 37.81 and Korea's Sang-Hwa Lee in 37.82.

In Saturday's races, the women take part in the 1,000 and 3,000 metres, and the men race the 1,000 and 5,000 metres. The World Cup season wraps-up Sunday with the men's and women's second 500 metres, the 1,500 metres and mass start.

With Gregg's individual medal, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance stands at $40,000 (10 gold, 18 silver; 12 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Patin Laval, l'association régionale de patinage de vitesse de Laval, will receive the $1,000 check from the program.