Christine Nesbitt's preparation for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics got a big boost on Monday.
The 23-year-old speedskater won the 1,000-metre Canadian single distance long-track speedskating championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval, the sport's venue for the 2010 Games.
The London, Ont., native finished with a time of one minute, 17.25 seconds. Shannon Rempel and Brittany Schussler, both of Winnipeg, finished in second and third place, respectively.
"Today I wanted to focus on skating technically a good race, even if I wasn't maybe as fast as I wanted to be," said Nesbitt, who was racing at the venue for the first time.
"When it's a World Cup I'm going to be much more excited and I'm going to have all that speed."
Nesbitt won three of her first four 1,000-metre races this season, and last season had 10 podium finishes and two World Cup wins.
Denny Morrison of Chetwynd, B.C., was the men's 1,000-metre winner, finishing in one minute, 10.72 seconds.
"The more the whole team skates on it, the stronger we are all going to be and the bigger our advantage is going to be," he said about the venue.
Despite the win, Morrison was not completely satisfied with his skate.
"I was a little slower in my first lap and I just couldn't finish like I wanted to. I just never had it in my legs today. I still managed to pull off a victory and I'm happy about that," he said.
Kyle Parrott of Minnedosa, Man., finished second in 1:10.99 seconds, while Francois-Olivier Roberge of St-Nicolas, Que., was third in 1:11.01 seconds.
Morrison did not make the podium in the first three World Cups this season, but rebounded with two silver medals in the 1,000 metres.
He had two wins and 11 podium finishes last season, and set a world record in the 1,500.
The championships will end Wednesday. Results will determine the Canadian team for the rest of the World Cup season, as well as the world all-around championships in Hamar, Norway, in February.