NEWS: Canada’s Christine Nesbitt takes silver medal in 1,500-metre at World Cup

Audio (MP3): Jordan Belchos, Gilmore Junio, Richard MacLennan, Christine Nesbitt, Brittany Schussler, coach Mark Wild

First medal of the season for long track team in Chelyabinsk, Russia

OTTAWA – Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., won Canada’s first long track medal of the season today with a silver medal in the 1,500 metres (1:57.44) at the Essent ISU World Cup in Chelyabinsk, Russia. She was 0.42 seconds behind Ireen Wust of the Netherlands (1:57.02). (Photo credit: Jeremy Kozubak)

Speed Skating Canada’s national long track team also had finishing three other top 10 division A finishes on the day. (ISU results website)

Four other Canadians competed in the 1,500-metre race with Nesbitt. Edmonton’s Nicole Garrido finished 20th (2:02.15), while the Winnipeg trio of Cindy Klassen (1:59.32), Brittany Schussler (2:00.36) and Shannon Rempel (2:03.07) were 10th, 15th and 23rd, respectively.

In the men’s 500 meters, Jamie Gregg of Edmonton had the best finish for Canada in sixth (35.33). Calgary’s Gilmore Junio was only a couple of positions down in ninth (35.33), while Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg was 20th (35.79). In division B competition, Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was fourth (35.85). William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., was disqualified. Joji Kato of Japan took gold (34.92) in division A.

In the women’s 500 meters, Nesbitt skated to 15th place (38.86) and Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary was 18th (38.97). Jing Yu of China won the 500 meters again today in a time of 37.65 seconds.

Regina’s Lucas Makowsky skated to a 22nd (6:47.68) place finish in division A 5,000 metres. Jordan Belchos of Toronto took the bronze medal in division B in a time of 6:31.26. The Netherlands swept all three division A medals, with Jorritt Bergsma (6:18.74) winning the gold medal.

The first World Cup of the season continues Sunday with the 1,000-metre and team pursuit races.

With Nesbitt’s medal today, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $15,000 (8 gold, 6 silver, 1 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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