Nesbitt takes gold at Canadian speedskating championships
Derraugh, Makowsky win men's races in Calgary
Canadian and world champion Christine Nesbitt took home gold in the 1,500 metres at the Canadian single distance long-track speedskating championships in Calgary on Friday.
Winnipeg's Tyler Derraugh won the men's 1,000 metres, while Regina's Lucas Makowsky beat the field in the men's 5,000 metres.
Nesbitt, a native of London, Ont., was unhappy with her silver medal in the 3,000 metres on Thursday after winning in both 2011 and 2012. Brittany Schussler took that race by just 0.28 seconds.
"I wasn't really happy with my race yesterday and how I've been skating lately. I've been struggling on my technique," Nesbitt said in a statement through Speed Skating Canada.
"I've been working really hard at it, but it's almost been not letting things come naturally. I was still really upset in the morning [from Thursday's race] and how I was going to approach the [1,500] race, and if there was anything I could actually change."
Friday saw a different Nesbitt take the ice as she won by almost two seconds. The 27-year-old stopped the clock at one minute and 56.48 seconds. From second to fourth place, there was only a 10th of a second difference. Winnipeg's Schussler took silver in a time of 1:58.47, followed by Regina's Kali Christ.
Cindy Klassen was fourth in a time of 1:58.57.
Nesbitt, Schussler and Christ repeated their 2012 medal performances in the 1,500 metres.
"I usually just go out as hard as I can in the 1,500 and skate smooth, but I just haven't had that kind ability lately to turn my top speed into smooth skating lately," added Nesbitt, who skated in the last pair with Christ. "I'm actually happy to come away with something positive."
Derraugh, recording his second personal career best in the 1,000 metres this season, took first place in a time of one minute and 8.69 seconds and earned a spot in the first four World Cups of the season.
"The race felt pretty good today. It was a fight at the end, chasing down Laurent [Dubreuil] who's a quick sprinter off the beginning but I had the finish I wanted", said Derraugh, who placed 10th last year.
"That was a huge improvement for me this year."
Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., won the silver in a time of 1:08.96, just 0.27 seconds behind. Defending champion Jamie Gregg of Edmonton took the bronze.
In the men's 5,000 metres, Makowsky reclaimed his Canadian title winning in a time of six minutes and 29.92 seconds. He took gold three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011.
Defending champion Jordan Belchos of Toronto claimed the silver medal in 6:31.41, and Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., won the bronze.
The championships continue through to Sunday at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. On Saturday, the men take on the 10,000 metres and the women's races will highlight the 1,000 and 5,000 metres. On Sunday, the men and women will compete in two 500-metre races and mass start.