NEWS: Canada places four skaters in top 10 at World Cup in Heerenveen

Audio (MP3): Ivanie Blondin (English), Ivanie Blondin (French), Gilmore Junio, Lucas Makowsky, Philippe Riopel (English), Philippe Riopel (French), Tori Spence

OTTAWA – On the first day of the third Essent ISU World Cup in Heerenveen, Netherlands, Canada placed four long track skaters in the top 10 in each of the women’s 500-metre and 5,000-metre distances, and men’s 500-metre and 1,500-metre races. (ISU results website)

In grand World Cup overall standings (men, women), Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., is second with 38.0 points, and Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., is third with 30.0 points.

In today’s women’s 500 metres, Nesbitt had a 10th place finish in a time of 38.70 seconds. Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel placed 19th (39.70). In division B, Calgary Anastasia Bucsis was ninth (39.45).

In men's 500-metre race, Calgary’s Gilmore Junio was ninth in a time of 35.24 seconds. William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., was 14th (35.26) and Edmonton’s Jamie Gregg ranked 19th (35.69). In division B competition, Winnipeg-native Tyler Derraugh was fifth (35.66) and Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was sixth (35.68).

Cindy Klassen was the only Canadian in the division A 5,000-metre race. The Winnipeg native finished in sixth place with a time of 7:10.76, which was 11.89 seconds behind winner Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic. In the women's 5,000 metres, division B, Winnipeg’s Brittany Schussler placed fifth (7:15.09), Edmonton’s Nicole Garrido was seventh (7:16.92), and Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa was 13th (7:26.27). Competing in her first World Cup, Tori Spence of Kamloops, B.C., was 17th (7:35.75).

In the last race of the day, the men’s division A 1,500 metres, Morrison was fifth (1:46.70) and Regina’s Lucas Makowsky was 13th (1:47.75). Morrison was 0.89 seconds behind winner Ivan Skobrev of Russia. In division B action, Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was 10th (1:50.46) and, in his second race of the day, Derraugh took 16th place (1:51.17).

Women’s 500 metres: Gold, Jing Yu of China (37.89); Silver, Sang-Hwa Lee of Korea (37.91); Bronze, Beixing Wang of China (38.17).
Men’s 500 metres: Gold, Tucker Fredricks of the United States (34.98); Silver, Joji Kato of Japan (35.07); Bronze, Tae-Bum Mo of Korea (35.08).
Women’s 5,000 metres: Gold, Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic (6:58.87); Silver, Claudia Pechstein of Germany (7:02.92); Bronze, Stephanie Beckert of Germany (7:04.77).
Men’s 1,500 metres: Gold, Ivan Skobrev of Russia (1:45.81); Silver, Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands (1:45.99); Bronze, Havard Bokko of Norway (1:46.49).

The World Cup in Heerenveen continues Saturday with the second men’s and women’s 500-metre race, and the women’s 1,500 metres and men’s 10,000 metres.

Canada has won two gold medals, two silvers and a bronze in this season’s long track World Cup circuit.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is at $20,000 (11 gold medals, seven silver and two bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.

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