Kristina Groves wins gold & overall World Cup title in 1500m

Salt Lake City, U.S.A. – Canada’s Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) was hoping for a deeper field, but is still happy to celebrate a second 1500m overall World Cup title, which she secured with a gold medal race today at the World Cup Final in Salt Lake City, U.S.A.

“It would have been nice to have a full field, it makes it more competitive,” said Groves, about missing competitors Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) and Germany’s Anni Friesinger. “But a win is a win and I will take what I can get.”

Nesbitt did not race today in an effort to fully recover from a head injury and rest up for the World Single Distances next week

Groves’ time today was 1:54.08 followed by Japan’s Maki Tabata in 1:54.79, who secured the silver medal. Canada’s Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) won bronze in 1:54.91, her second individual medal this season.

“I am really excited and really wanted to do this just to prove to myself that my first individual medal in Berlin wasn’t a fluke,” said Schussler, who won silver in the 1500m at the second World Cup this season.

Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) came close to the podium, finishing fourth in 1:55.51. She joined Groves and Schussler in sweeping the podium at the same World Cup where Schussler earned silver in the 1500m, Rempel earned the bronze medal.

Canada completed the world cup season with 4 women in the top 5 for the 1500m distance.

Clara Hughes (Glen Sutton, QC) finished the 1500m race in 17th. Rempel also raced in the 500m, finishing 17th.

In men’s racing, today’s 1000m podium was a repeat of yesterday’s 1500m, with Americans Shani Davis and Trevor Marsicano winning gold and silver and Canada’s Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) winning his second bronze medal. He raced a time of 1:07.11, Davis and Marsicano finished in 1:06.42 and 1:06.88.

Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) posted another great top ten result; finishing seventh in a time of 1:08.15. Francois Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) and Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, MB) placed 18th and 19th. In the men’s 5000m, Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) was 20th.

“I kind of look at racing and results in general as they mean something for the moment. . . Next weekend is a whole different ballgame... I will just try to bring my best skating into next weekend,” added Groves about the upcoming season main event, the World Single Distance Championships in Richmond, B.C. at the 2010 Olympic venue.

- 30 –