Denny Morrison wins silver medal at speed skating World Cup

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands – Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., won the silver medal on Friday in the men’s 1,500 metres to open the fourth stop on the long track speed skating circuit.

All around world champion Sven Kramer of the Netherlands won the gold medal in one minute and 45.21 seconds. Morrison followed in 1:45.34, a personal best time on the Heerenveen track, and Mark Tuitert of the Netherlands was third in 1:45.54. At his last 1,500m World Cup race last month in Calgary Morrison fell.

‘’It went really well today, the fall in Calgary never even crossed my mind,’’ said

Denny Morrison, Photo: Arno Hoogveld
Morrison with his second silver medal this season in the 1,500m. ‘’I wanted to carry that feeling of just being smooth and relaxed and that’s what helped get some fast laps early on.’’

Because of the fall in Calgary, Morrison dropped in the World Cup standings and was in the sixth of 10 pairs of the day with compatriot Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., who placed 15th. Morrison climbed back to eighth spot in the standings with his medal performance.

‘’I like racing in an earlier pair and setting the bar if I can,’’ said Morrison. ‘’ When I finished my race I wasn’t sure it would hold because I hadn’t beaten Sven’s time and he’s not known to win the 1,500. I felt I had a good race but I wasn’t sure it would get me on the podium.’’

Arne Dankers of Calgary was 14th.

In the women’s 3,000, Renate Groenewold of the Netherlands earned the gold in 4:02.64. Kristina Groves of Ottawa was fifth, Clara Hughes of Winnipeg sixth, Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg 13th and Brittany Schussler, also of Winnipeg, 18th.

In the men’s 500, Vincent Labrie of St-Romuald, Que., was 13th, Morrison 19th and Mike Ireland of Winnipeg 20th. In the women’s 500, Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 11th.

In the B group races: Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., won the women’s 500 with Cindy Klassen eighth, Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., 13th and Kim Weger of Regina 14th; Muncef Ouardi of Montreal and François Olivier Roberge of St-Nicolas, Que., were eighth and 18th in the men’s 500; Roberge and Jeff Kitura of Langley, B.C., were sixth and ninth in the men’s 1,500; and Nicole Garrido of Edmonton sixth in the women’s 3,000.

Competition continues through to Sunday.