Canadian Christine Nesbitt won the 1,500-metre event and captured gold in the women's team pursuit along with teammates Ivanie Blondin and Brittany Schussler at the Essent ISU World Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan on Sunday.
The London, Ont., native stopped the clock at 1:57.18. Dutch skater Marrit Leenstra finished second with a time of 1:57:29, while fellow countrywoman Linda de Vries took bronze (1:57.30).
"It was an OK [1,500-metre] race. I had a good opener and first lap, so the first 700 metres was decent. I was trying to feel smooth because I didn’t have a really good one last week," said Nesbitt. "In the last two laps I was struggling to keep smooth. My last lap was painful but it was just enough to hold off a win. It's a nice way to finish the 1,500 World Cups this fall. I'm definitely looking forward to coming back this winter and finishing stronger."
Winnipeg speed skaters Schussler and Cindy Klassen could not make it into the top ten after finishing 11th and 16th respectively.
The victory gives Nesbitt her third individual medal of the season.
The Canadian team pursuit group, who won bronze in the first World Cup race in the Netherlands, skated to gold with a time of 2:58.40. The Koreans took silver after clocking 3:00.55, while the Dutch finished third (3:00.71).
"I think our goal was to learn from our first team pursuit two weeks ago [in Heerenveen, Netherlands]," Schussler said. "We started a bit slow there and tried to play it conservative, but that wasn't really to our strengths. But today we just blasted for it right out of the gate. It's a pretty solid win."
In the women’s division B 1,500-metre race, Calgary native Kaylin Irvine won bronze in 2:01.18, while Ottawa's Blondin was fifth (2:01.61).
"It was a good race. I followed my race plan, which was to open quickly and carry that speed into the first lap and hopefully the second, which luckily I was able to do," Irvine said. "It was the third fastest 1,500 I've raced."
Toronto’s Jordan Belchos ended third in the 10,000-metre event division B with a time of 13:18.41. Stefan Waples of Winnipeg was 25th (14:05.50).