Morrison wins gold & Nesbitt takes bronze in the 1000m at Kolomna World Cup

It was under cheerful applauses that Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) skated the men's 1000m in a time of 1:08.71 to take the gold medal. This win puts Morrison in second place, just behind American Shani Davis, of the World Cup standings in the 1000m. Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) added another medal for Canada when she took the bronze, also in the 1000m.

"I am satisfied about that. It's cool to win points for the standings," mentioned Morrison after his win. "There's still room to improve things. I do want to focus on my technique. I want to improve in the corners and work on my starts to gain more speed. Being focused on technical aspects of my race also helps me from being distracted by other things."

Morrison was followed in the 1000m by Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands who raced to second place with a time of 1:08.97. Russia's Yevgeny Lalenkov was third with a time of 1:09.02. Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, MB) finished in 7th place, thanks to a time of 1:09.87. Today's performance by Parrott was only 0.12 of second slower than his personal best in the distance, 1:09.75. François Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) came in 15th while Muncef Ourardi (Montréal, QC ) took 17th place.

Dutch skater Margot Boer won the ladies 1000m with a time of 1:15.84. Boer was followed by Jing Yu of China in 1:16.04, and the bronze medal went to Christine Nesbitt with a time of 1:16.26, only 0.42 of a second behind Boer. Although Nesbitt missed two World Cups earlier this season, she is now first in the overall standings after today's race. Second and third places in the overall standings are occupied by Kristina Groves (Ottawa , ON) and Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB ) respectively.

"It's good that I am getting consistent with my races. It's pretty good to have a podium again," answered Nesbitt to journalists on questions about yet another medal for her in the World Cup's 1000m. With the top three spots in the overall standings belonging to Canadian skaters, things are looking great for Canada just a little over a year away from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

In Group B of the ladies 1000m, Kerry Dankers (Melville, SK) finished 5th with a time of 1:19.67, only 0.84 of a second shy of Japan's Maki Tsuji who came in third place with a time of 1:18.84. Danielle Wootherspoon (Red Deer, Alberta ) was 9th of the group with a time of 1:20.50.

No Canadian woman skated today in group A of the ladies' 500m. Nonetheless, first place was awarded to Germany's Jenny Wolf who skated the distance in 37.51. In group B, Wootherspoon came in 10th with a time of 39.67. Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) finished 11th while Kim Weger (Regina, SK ) was 12th and Kerry Dankers ended 13th.

In the men's 500m, Japanese skaters Keiichiro Nagashima and Yuya Oikawa took first and third place with respective times of 34.85 and 34.96. Second place went to Fengtong Yu of China who finished 0.04 seconds behind Nagashima thanks to a time of 34.89. Canada's Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) came in 10th place with a time of 35.33. Muncef Ouardi was 16th.

In group B, first place was awarded to Italian skater Ermanno Ioriatti who raced the 500m in 35.62. Vincent Labrie (Levis, QC) took second place with a time of 35.78 and Denny Morrison came in third place, thanks to a time of 35.81. François-Olivier Roberge finished in 17th place.

"It's been a while since I've raced. This week-end is a return on the World Cup circuit for me. I have to admit I was anxious before the race. It will take some time to for me to be back to the top of my shape on the ice. Technically, I will have to work on my corners and on my starts. I think my starts can be two tenth of a second faster. I hope to be racing in Group A before the end of the season," explained Labrie after more than a month long recovery from an injury suffered at the Heerenveen World Cup last fall.

Satisfied with the performances of Canadian skaters today, National Coach Xiuli Wang shared the following with journalist: "This week-end was a lot better [then last week-end] for our skaters. Many of them are feeling better and today's races will give them much confidence for tomorrow. Today's results are proof that things are going to go well tomorrow. Also, I expect Shannon Rempel to race tomorrow after some needed rest."

Canadian skaters will be partaking in the 100m, 500m and 1000m races tomorrow.

For the complete results, click here