Morrison & Nesbitt strike gold & bronze again

Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) won the men’s 1000m for the second time in a row this weekend. This time, Morrison established a new track record with a time of 1:08.53 to take the gold. Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) also stepped on the podium in the 1000m for a second bronze medal in a row, thanks to a time of 1:15.85.

“It’s pretty cool to have a track record. Realistically each track is different. Some are slower and some faster. I think it’s pretty special to have a track record even on the slower ones. It’s not the world record but it is still the fastest anyone has ever gone on that track”, commented Morrison after lowering the Kolomna track record. “There’s always more space for improvement. I am looking forward to the World Single Distance Championship at the end of the season. That’s why I am skating so many competitions right now; so I can tweak things here and there.”

Following Morrison in the men’s 1000m were two skaters from the Netherlands: Stefan Groothuis and Mark Tuitert. Groothuis skated the distance in 1:08.67 and Tuitert in 1:09.09. François-Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) finished 12th. Canadian team mates Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, MB) and Muncef Ouardi (Montréal, QQC )came in 13th and 17th. Vincent Labrie was in the B group, where he took 11th place.

Winning the women’s 1000m was once again Dutch skater Margot Boer with a race of 1:15.79. Germany’s Anni Friesinger came in second with a time of 1:15.81. Christine Nesbitt won the bronze by improving her time from yesterday by three tenth of a second. After missing yesterday’s races, Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB ) skated to 6th place in 1:16.53.

“At this point in the season I am very happy with my results. I had a much better race than yesterday. It’s the fastest that I have skated in Europe,” said Nesbitt while reflecting on today’s performance. “To think I did this after finishing a hard training block and flying in days before the event, I can only get better. I am excited for the next few weeks of racing and I hope I can build on this weekend’s.”

Kerry Dankers (Melville, SK) came in 7th of the B Group with a time of 1:19.88. It was Natasja Bruintjes of the Netherlands who finished first with a time of 1:16.81 minutes. Second and third places of the group were clinched by Russian skaters Yekaterina Abramova and Yuliya Skokova, with respective times of 1:18.33 and 1:19.09.

The ladies’ 500m gold medal was once again captured by German skater Jenny Wolf with a time of 37.67 seconds. Chinese skaters Peiyu Jin and Jing Yu took second and third place with times of 38.01 seconds and 38.13 seconds. Shannon Rempel finished 15th.

All the other Canadian skaters were in the B Group, and Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) finished 5th, with a time of 39.34 seconds. Kim Weger (Regina, SK ) came in 11th while Danielle Wotherspoon (Red Deer, Alberta ) was 12th. Kerry Dankers ended in 14th place.

Still on the women’s side, Kim Weger raced to 20th place in the 100m dash, while teammates Wotherspoon, Dankers and Oudenaarden took 29th, 32nd and 36th places. The 100m sprint was won by Jenny Wolf. German compatriot Judith Hesse was second while Chinese skater Aihua Xing came in third.

In the men’s 500m, Canada’s Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) achieved his best World Cup result so far with a 6th place when he completed the race in 35.27 seconds, only 0.46 second behind the winner, American Tucker Fredricks. Fredricks won the race in 34.81 seconds. Keiichiro Nagashima of Japan took second place, skating the distance in 34.87 seconds. Chinese skater Fengtong Yu finished third with a time of 34.89 seconds. Muncef Ouardi was 16th of the group.

The battle to win the men’s 500m in division B was very fierce. Vincent Labrie finished third with a time of 35.75 seconds, improving on yesterday’s performance. Labrie was only four hundredth of a second behind Italian Ermanno Ioriatti who won the race. Also improving on yesterday, François-Olivier Roberge finished 7th with a time of 35.93 seconds.

Yuya Oikawa of Japan won the men’s 100m sprint. Following Oikawa with second place was teammate Joji Kato, and China’s Zhongqi Zhang took third place. Canadian skater Muncef Ouardi came in 8th while Jamie Gregg was 13th and Vincent Labrie 19th. Denny Morrison finished 35th and François-Olivier Roberge was 38th.

Canadian skaters will continue their European World Cup tour next weekend in the German city of Erfurt. Long distance races and team pursuit will be featured at the upcoming World Cup.

For the complete results, click here