Gold & Silver for Canada in the 1000m at the World Cup in Changchun

At the fourth stop of the ISU World Cup Circuit, Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) won the gold medal in the women’s 1000m, also taking the first place in the overall rankings on the distance. Her team-mate, Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) won silver, finishing 0.02 second behind Groves.

“This was a great race. I was in good shape and ready to skate. I’m very satisfied with my performance. It was good to go back to Canada to rest and see my family before continuing the season here in China,” said Groves after her victory.

Still in the 1000m, Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) finished 4th with a time of 1:19.01, missing the podium by just nine tenths of a second. Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) was unfortunately disqualified.

“While in Canada, I worked on the technical side of my performance. I tried to focus on specific parts of my skating and improving my speed. I’m happy with the result. My 500m race was a good warm-up for the 1000m,” commented Rempel in an interview following her race.

With three of the top four positions in the 1000m, the Canadian women will be worth watching as they race again tomorrow.

In the Division B, Canadian Justine L’Heureux (St. Tite, QC) could not participate due to a fall in her 500m race. The fall bruised her hip and her coach Robert Tremblay thought it was best for her not to skate the 1000m. If all goes well, L’Heureux should be ready to skate her 500m and 1000m races tomorrow.

Shannon Rempel, the only Canadian female to race the 500m in the A division, finished 8th. In Group B, Tamara Oudenaarden finished 6th, while Danielle Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) and Kerry Dankers (Melville, SK) finished 8th and 15th.

In the men’s 500m, Muncef Ouardi (Montreal, QC) finished 18th in his first Group A race. According to his coach Robert Tremblay, participating in Division A of the 500m is a good opportunity for Ouardi to improve on his skills and speed. In the B Division, Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) finished in second place. Kyle Parrott (St. Albert, AB) came in 7th, followed by Francois-Olivier Roberge (St. Nicolas, QC) in 8th with a time of 36.56 seconds. Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) finished 10th.

In the men’s 1000m, Denny Morrison came in 6th, 1.04 seconds behind the leader, the Korean Lee Kyou-Hyuk. Francois-Olivier Roberge, Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) and Muncef Ouardi (Montreal, QC) finished 9th, 15th and 17th respectively. This is an excellent result for Roberge, his first top-10 finish since the 2006-07 season. Kyle Parrott took third place of Division B.

All athletes will be back on the ice in Changchun, tomorrow, for another round of each the 1000m and 500m.