Groves & Nesbitt take the two top spots at the 1500m event

Canadian long track speed skaters achieved a double victory at the Women’s 1500m event, on Saturday, at the World Cup held in Calgary, thanks to Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON, 1:54.35) and Christine Nesbitt (London, ON, 1:54.3). Britanny Schussler (Winnipeg, MB, 1:54.85) also came very close to stepping up onto the le podium, but took fourth place, only 0.30 s behind Netherland’s Elma de Vries (1:54.55).

Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB, 1:55.82) and Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB, 1:56.31) respectively finished 11th and 14th.

Christine Nesbitt racing the 1500m, Photo: Arno Hoogveld
“Today’s (Saturday’s) victory is a small surprise”, admitted Groves during the interview. “The other girls were skating very fast and I’m very happy with my time. It’s a very good result for Canada to rank first, second and fourth. It shows how strong our team is. As for me, this is almost my best race of the season and I know that there is still room for improvement. ”

Excluded from the podium, yesterday, at the 3000m event, behind by only 4 hundredths of a second, Groves does not see Saturday’s victory as a jump start to the upcoming Olympic Games.

“I know I have the potential to put in good races and that if I am well-prepared and fully concentrated, anything is possible. Many things can happen (between now and the Games) and I must keep both feet on the ground, ” added the athlete who is pre-qualified for the 3000m event in Vancouver and who’ll be aiming for a ticket to the Games’ 1000m, 1500m and 5000m events at the Olympic Selections to take place in Calgary at the end of the month.

At the Men’s 500m event, Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, AB) was the best Canadian skater, finishing in 13th place with a time of 35.02, whereas Mike Ireland (Winnipeg, MB, 35.06) took 16th spot, after an eventful night that ended with the birth of daughter Mila at 8am this morning. In the same distance at the Women’s event, Christine Nesbitt (38.32) finished 15th.

In the Men’s 5000m, which was won by Sven Kramer (6:11.11) from the Netherlands, Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK, 6:24.72) ended the race in 17th place, and Mathieu Giroux (Montréal, QC, 6:31.80) took 19th place.

The Calgary World Cup ends on Sunday with both the Men’s and Women’s 1000m event and Team Pursuit.

Other Canadian results

Men’s 500m, Division B
1st Jeremy Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) 34.65
3rd Vincent Labrie (Saint-Romuald, QC) 34.95
8th Muncef Ouardi (Charlesbourg, QC) 35.24

Women’s 500m, Division B
12th Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) 38.88
13th Tamara Oudenaarden (St-Albert, AB) 38.92
14th Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) 38.95
27th Justine L'Heureux (Saint-Tite, QC) 40.00

Men’s 5000m, Division B
14th Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB), 6:29.76
20th Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON), 6:33.71
28th Jay Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) 6:37.55