News and background stories

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Another World Record!

Jing Ju and Stefan Groothuis were crowned world champions at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary today.

In the first distance of the last day of the World Sprint Championships, Jing Yu proved to be the first woman ever to skate a sub 37. In her race against Jenny Wolf, Yu improved Wolf's world record (37.00), and brought it down to 36.94. Wolf finished 12th after several slips in her first 100m. Second in today's 500m was Beixing Wang in 37.32 and third was Sang-Hwa Lee in 37.36. Christine Nesbitt, who was in first place overall after yesterday's races, lost some time in the 500m on Yu with her 37.89, and as a result Yu was in first place after three distances.

In the women's 1000m, in which Christine Nesbitt and Jing Yu were paired to battle over the world title. Nesbitt skated another sub 1:13, after her world record in the 1000m yesterday, but in the end it was not fast enough to earn her the world title. With her 1:12.94, Nesbitt was 0.53 faster than Yu, who finished second in the 1000m. Third was Marrit Leenstra in 1:13.89.

Overall, Jing Yu was first, Christine Nesbitt claimed silver and Hong Zhang finished third.

On the men's side, Joji Kato finished first in the 500m in 34.35. Mika Poutala was second in 34.38 and Tae-Bum Mo was third in 34.42. After this third distance of the men's championships Kyou-Hyuk Lee was in first place overall, Stefan Groothuis came in 5th.

But these rankings were completely turned upside down after the final distance of the day, the men's 1000m. Not only was Stefan Groothuis the only athlete to skate a sub 1:07 in the distance, but it also earned him the overall world title. Second in the 1000m was Shani Davis in 1:07.11, third was Sjoerd de Vries in 1:07.72.

Overall, Stefan Groothuis was crowned world champion, Kyou-Hyuk Lee was second and Tae-Bum Mo came in third.

Click here for complete results.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

New World Record!

Christine Nesbitt skated to an amazing new world record at the World Sprint Championships in Calgary today! On the first day of the competition, Nesbitt crushed the old record of 1:13.11 (2006, Calgary, Cindy Klassen) and brought it down to a stunning 1:12.68. Second was Marrit Leenstra in 1:14.16 and third was Margot Boer in 1:14.37. As for the other Canadian women, Shannon Rempel was 21st in 1:16.50 and Kaylin Irvine was 23rd in 1:17.26.

In the first distance of the day, the women's 500m, Jenny Wolf raced to a new championship record: 37.35. Beixing Wang was second in 37.50 and Hong Zhang was third in 37.63. Christine Nesbitt, who was crowned World Champion Sprint last year in Heerenveen, was 8th in 37.93. Shannon Rempel was 20th in 38.75 and Kaylin Irvine finished 25th (39.09) in what was her first World Championship race ever, and only her third international race.

In the men's 500m, Kyou-Hyuk Lee stopped the clock at 34.33 to claim the gold in this distance. Second was Dmitry Lobkov in 34.46 and Muncef Ouardi was the fasted Canadian in 34.54, good for a third-place finish. Jamie Gregg finished 7th in 34.69 and Denny Morrison was 20th in 35.25.

And finally, in the men's 1000m Shani Davis raced to the fastest time of the day: 1:07.25. Second was his pair Stefan Groothuis, in 1:07.52, and Tea-Bum Mo stopped the clock at 1:07.99. Best Canadian was Denny Morrison, who came in 5th in 1:08.05. Muncef Ouardi was 18th in 1:09.06 and Jamie Gregg finished 20th in 1:09.13.

Overall, Christine Nesbitt is now in first place, followed by Jenny Wolf and Hong Zhang. On the men's side, Kyou-Hyuk Lee is in first place, Dmitry Lobkov is in second place and Stefan Groothuis is in third place.

Click here for complete results.

After races today, Jeremy Wotherspoon's picture was added to the oval's Wall of Champs, and he was honoured for his impressive career, which includes 67 victories and 12 overall World Cup titles. He also holds the current world record in the 500m (34.03).

Thursday, 26 January 2012

This weekend the World Sprint Championships are taking place in Calgary, and today there was a press conference with the entire Canadian team, consisting of Christine Nesbitt, Anastasia Bucsis, Kaylin Irvine, Denny Morrison, Jamie Gregg and Muncef Ouardi.
Make sure to check out our photo album for an impression!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Sprint World Cup that is taking place in Salt Lake City this weekend not only is an excellent opportunity for many athletes to improve their personal bests, but it also is a final test shortly before the World Sprint Championships next weekend in Calgary.

On the first day in Salt Lake City, Christine Nesbitt once again impressed in the 1000m. With her 1:13.36, she was 0.63 faster than silver-medalist Heather Richardson. On top of that Nesbitt finished fourth in the 500m, in 37.59. First was Sang-Hwa Lee in 37.36.

In the men's 500m, Keiichiro Nagashima finished first in 34.37; Jan Smeekens was second in 34.40. And Shani Davis claimed victory in the men's 1000m with his 1:07.20, but with his 1:07.38 Denny Morrison was not far behind.

On the second day of the World Cup in Salt Lake City, Christine Nesbitt did not compete. Like yesterday, Sang-Hwa Lee finished first in the women's 500m, this time in 37.27. In the women's 1000m, Laurine van Riessen was first in 1:14.21.

On the men's side, Dmitry Lobkov skated to the fastest time (34.54). Noteworthy was Laurent Dubreuil's 34.66, good for a fourth-place finish and a junior world record, in what was only his second World Cup race ever. In the men's 1000m, Shani Davis claimed victory once again, this time he needed 1:07.69. Second was Stefan Groothuis in 1:07.94.

Click here for complete results.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

On the last day of the Canadian Single Distance Championships Jamie Gregg and Christine Nesbitt won the 500m. The mass start was won by Tori Spence and Tyler Derraugh.

The 500m podium was the result of two combined 500m races. In the women’s 500m Christine Nesbitt raced to her fourth gold medal this weekend when she finished first in both 500m’s (37.99 and 37.88). The silver medal was for Anastasia Bucsis (38.32 and 38.38) and Danielle Wotherspoon raced to the third spot on the podium, finishing in 38.80 and 38.77.

“Those were good races. They’re the two fastest races I've skated this year, and only the third and fourth time I've ever skated under 38 seconds, so I'm pretty happy with that, I feel like there's still room for improvement”, Nesbitt told Speed Skating Canada.

In the men’s 500m, Jamie Gregg raced to the fastest combined time when he won both 500m’s (34.69 and 34.81). Muncef Ouardi’s combined times were enough to earn him the silver medal (34.98 and 34.84) and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix finished third ( 35.10 and 34.99).

A new event during these Canadian Single Distance Championships was the mass start. The women had to race 15 laps and Tori Spence was the first to cross the finish line in 8:57.07. The men’s mass start started with 14 skaters who had to compete over 20 laps. Tyler Derraugh finished first in 10.32.33.

Click here for complete results.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

On the third day of the Canadian Single Distance Championships in Calgary, Christine Nesbitt, Jordan Belchos and Cindy Klassen finished first in respectively the women’s 1000m, the men’s 10k and the women’s 5000m.

For the third consecutive day, Christine Nesbitt finished first in the distance she was competing in. After her gold medals in the 1500m and the 3000m earlier this weekend, today Nesbitt finished first in the 1000m, again with an impressive margin on the rest of the competitors. With her 1:13.80, Nesbitt was 2.30 seconds faster than Brittany Schussler, who finished second in 1:16.10. Third was Cindy Klassen in 1:16.56.

After skating to the fastest time in the 5000m yesterday, Jordan Belchos also finished first in today’s 10k. His 13:32.33 was way faster than silver-medalist Scott Bickerton’s 13:47.83 and bronze-medalist Stefan Waples’ 13:52.97.

And finally, Cindy Klassen claimed the gold in the women’s longest distance, the 5000m. Klassen stopped the clock at 7:08.42. Second was Nicole Garrido in 7:16.40 and third was Brittany Schussler in 7:17.26.

Races in Calgary will wrap up tomorrow with the women’s and men’s 500m, and the women’s and men’s mass start.

Click here for complete results.

Friday, 6 January 2012

On the second day of the Canadian Single Distance Championships in Calgary, Jamie Gregg, Christine Nesbitt and Jordan Belchos finished first in respectively the men’s 1000m, the women’s 1500m and the men’s 5000m.

In the men’s 1000m, Jamie Gregg needed 1:08.43 to complete the distance and finish first. Second was Denny Morrison in 1:08.53 and third was Kyle Parrott in 1:09.18.

After her victory in yesterday’s 3000m, Christine Nesbitt added another gold medal, this time in the 1500m. With her 1:55.03, Nesbitt was over 2 seconds faster than silver-medalist Brittany Schussler, who crossed the finish line after 1:57.34. Kali Christ was third in 1:58.01.

In the final distance of the day, the men’s 5000m, Jordan Belchos raced to the fastest time: 6:30.88. Stefan Waples finished second in 6:35.80 and Scott Bickerton was third in 6:36.52.

Races in Calgary will continue tomorrow with the women’s 1000m and 5000m, and the men’s 10k.

Click here for complete results.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

On the first day of the Canadian Single Distance Championships in Calgary, Christine Nesbitt and Mathieu Giroux claimed the first titles of the weekend.

In the women’s 3000m, Christine Nesbitt finished first in 4:07.93. This time gave her a big margin over silver-medalist Cindy Klassen, who needed 4:09.52 to complete the distance. Third was Brittany Schussler in 4:10.46.

Mathieu Giroux won his first Canadian title in the men’s 1500m. With his 1:45.29 he was 0.35 seconds faster than Denny Morrison, who finished second in 1:45.64. Third was Lucas Makowsky in 1:45.93.

After his performance today, Giroux said: “My race was really good! I came in the Canadian Championships a bit more rested than I usual do and it paid off. Being more rested, I was able to have more speed on my first lap. Then, I had my usual race profile of about a second drop a lap. So, more speed than usual and the same endurance gave me an amazing race.”

As for the rest of the weekend, Giroux will only be racing the 5000m. 

Tomorrow, races in Calgary will continue with the men’s 1000m and 5000m and the women’s 1500m. Races start at 9 AM and admission is free.

Click here for complete results.