Road To The Olympic Games

Speed Skating

Nesbitt express speeds to Moscow track record

Olympic champion Christine Nesbitt of Canada set a track record today in the 1,000-metre speedskating World Cup race, finishing in one minute, 15.59 seconds on the Krylatskoye Ice Stadium oval. She shaved 0.42 seconds off the mark set by Germany's Anni Friesinger.

Still feeling a bit sapped from winning the women's title at the world sprint championships a week ago, Christine Nesbitt found a way to remain unbeaten on the World Cup circuit over the weekend in Moscow.

The long track speedskater from London, Ont., made it 5-for-5 in the 1,000 metres Sunday, establishing a track record at the Krylatskoye Ice Stadium oval in her latest victory.

The Olympic champion, also fighting some groin tightness, clocked one minute 15.59 seconds to shave 0.42 seconds off the mark set by Anni Friesinger of Germany in 2009.

Ireen Wust of the Netherlands was second, 0.35 seconds behind Nesbitt, while American Heather Richardson was third in 1:16.18.

Nesbitt also maintained her dominance in the 1,500 on Saturday with her fourth victory in four races at the distance, which is why coach Mark Wild doesn't anticipate her having any issues for the Feb. 12-13 world allround championships in Calgary.

"It's not so much an injury, it's more just groin tightness at this point," said Wild. "She was able to compete pretty much at near 100 per cent efforts on her openers in the 1,500 and 1,000, so we're using caution with it, but it won't cause us worry to change her program or overhaul it."

Brittany Schussler was seventh while fellow Winnipeg native Shannon Rempel was 11th.

Richardson remains atop of the 1,000 standings with 560 points after seven of eight races. Nesbitt skipped a World Cup event in Obihiro, Japan, in December, and is 60 points behind for second.

Denny second again

In the men's 1,000, Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., picked up his second silver of the weekend, finishing 0.75 seconds behind Dutchman Stefan Groothuis' winning time of 1:08.82. Norway's Mikael Flying-Larsen was third.

Morrison was second in Friday's 1,500 and was third in the 1,000 at Obihiro as he tries to rebuild from a disappointing performance at the Vancouver Olympics.

"Denny is starting to skate technically better, he's also getting more confidence in the training that we're doing," said coach Bart Schouten. "He's doing a good job of staying process-oriented, we're actually not worried about results this year.

"We really want to make sure he can leave the bad aftertaste from Vancouver behind and try to focus on solutions or possible improvements, and I think we're really on the right track."

Groothuis leads the standings with 430 points, followed by Kyou-Hyuk Lee of South Korea with 402. Vancouver Olympic champion Shani Davis, who skipped the event in Moscow, is third with 380.

Canada was fourth in the men's team pursuit and fifth in the women's event.