Another three medals for Canada at the World Cup in Berlin

The last day of competition was fruitful for Canada at the speed skating World Cup in Berlin. Thanks to a flawless race, Canadian speed skater Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) won her first gold medal in the 1000m. Beside her on the podium was Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) who won silver. The men pursuit team, composed of Jay Morrison (Fort St. John, BC), Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) and Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK), also won gold.

‘‘After two days of competition, when fatigue sets in, it is easy to lose focus. So I spent lots of time alone preparing and visualizing the race. My focus was at its max once I was on the ice,’’ explained Christine Nesbitt, ‘‘and it worked because this is my first win at the 1000m in a World Cup.’’

Shannon Rempel and Christine Nesbitt on the podium in Berlin, Photo: Philippe Riopel

Rempel finished the race in 1:17.11, only 0,25 seconds behind her team-mate. ‘‘I wanted to skate well this weekend, and that’s what I did,’’ proudly said Rempel regarding her second medal win of the competition. She also took bronze Friday in the 1500m when Canada swept the podium. ‘‘The girls did very well in Berlin.’’

Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON), Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) and Tamara Oudenaarden (St-Albert, AB) also took part in the 1000m. As usual, Groves gave a solid performance, enabling her to take 5th place. Schussler and Oudenaarden took 18th and 23rd place.

In team pursuit, Jay Morrison, Steven Elm and Lucas Makowsky reached for the highest step of the podium with a time of 3:47.29. With such a performance, anticipation and momentum for rest of the season are building-up. On the women side, Groves, Rempel and Schussler formed Canada’s team. Quite tired by the 1000m skated earlier, they still managed to finish 5th.

Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) finished 6th in the 1000m. His team-mate François-Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) took the 18th spot while Muncef Ouardi (Montréal, QC) completed the race in 22nd place. Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) and Vincent Labrie (St-Romuald, QC), racing in Division B, finished 8th and 15th respectively.

The Canadian team will be on the road tomorrow. Some athletes, including Jeremy Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) and Mike Ireland (Winnipeg, MB), injured this weekend, are heading back to Calgary, but the majority heads to Heerenveen for the second stop of the World Cup circuit next weekend.