Morrison top Canadian on opening day of Astana World Cup Fort St. John, B.C., skater 11th in 1500m; will skate 1000m Saturday

Morrison top Canadian on opening day of Astana World Cup Fort St. John, B.C., skater 11th in 1500m; will skate 1000m Saturday


Astana, Kazakhstan, Nov 29, 2013 – Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was the top Canadian Friday on the opening day of the Essent ISU Speed Skating World Cup. Morrison was 11th in the men’s 1500m in one minute, 46.53 seconds and was 0.66 of a second off the podium. Lucas Makowsky of Regina placed 17th. They were Canada’s only A group competitors on Friday.

Morrison will race the 1000m Saturday and is optimistic of a better result. “I have been steadily improving in the 1000m throughout this season, both in time and ranking,” Morrison said. “The result in my 1500m wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I believe my skating has continued to improve and that with better execution Saturday I will have a better result.”

Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine finished second in the women’s B 500m in 38.80 seconds. Bo-Ra Lee of Korea edged her with a 38.72.

The winning time in the women’s A 500 was the 37.27 of current world record holder Sang-Hwa Lee of Korea, who is unbeaten so far this season.

Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was 10th in the men’s B 1500m, followed by Alec Janssens of Chilliwack, B.C., in 11th and Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg, who was 18th.

Three Canadian women competed in the women’s B 5000m. Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa was 12th, Nicole Garrido of Edmonton 19th and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg 25th.

Speed Skating Canada’s has an 11-member team in Astana this week. Absent are Canada’s two individual medalists from the first two World Cups this season, Gilmore Junio, who won gold in the 500m in Salt Lake City and Jamie Gregg, who won a pair of bronze in the 500m in the season-opening World Cup in Calgary. Junio and Gregg have remained in Canada to train for the Olympic trials, which start Dec. 28 at the Olympic Oval. They will also skip the fourth World Cup in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 6-8.

Christine Nesbitt and other members of the Canadian Team are currently in Inzell in preparation for the Berlin World Cup, the final Olympic Qualifying competition.

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Canadian roster for Essent ISU World Cup, Astana Kazakhstan:



Ivanie Blondin, Ottawa

Nicole Garrido, Edmonton

Kaylin Irvine, Calgary

Brittany Schussler, Winnipeg

Men :

Jordan Belchos, Toronto

Tyler Derraugh, Winnipeg

William Dutton, Humboldt, Sask.

Mathieu Giroux, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.

Alec Janssens, Chilliwack, B.C.

Lucas Makowsky, Regina.

Denny Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C.