Nesbitt claims World Cup 1,500-metre speedskating titles

Associated Press

3/10/2012 5:43:45 PM

BERLIN -- It was a two-medal day for Canada's Christine Nesbitt.

The skater from London, Ont., captured a gold medal in the women's 1,500-metre event at a World Cup speedskating event and was third in the 500-metre race.

But with the win in the 1,500-metre race, Nesbitt captured the World Cup title over that distance.

"It (the 1,500) was a really hard race, so it wasn't super fun," Nesbitt said. "When I won the 1,500, they gave me on the podium a chocolate-shaped trophy.

"So I can't wait to eat that on the bus Monday."

Yu Jing of China won her second 500-metre race in 37.63 seconds to claim the overall World Cup title. Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea was second while Nesbitt was third to finish 10th in the overall standings.

"It was a really long day, because of racing both races," Nesbitt said. "I was really happy with the 500 I raced.

"I had a really good pair (with China's Hong Zhang). I got to chase her down the back straightaway (to finish line). So it was really fun."

Lee also finished second overall, 70 points behind Yu who tops the standings with 960 points. World champion Jenny Wolf of Germany finished fourth, ending the season in third.

The battle for the 1,500-metre crown all but ended before Saturday's race when Olympic champion Ireen Wust pulled out due to sickness. She finished second overall, 60 points behind Nesbitt with 510 points. There are 150 points awarded for a win.

Nesbitt won in 1:56.77 with Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands claiming the silver, 0.16 seconds behind. Martina Sablikova was third.

Mo Tae-bum's second-place finish behind Dutch speedskater Michel Mulder in the men's 500-metre race was enough for the South Korean to claim the overall title.

Mulder won in 35.01 seconds, 0.03 ahead of Mo. Dutchman Jan Smeekens was third.

Mo topped the standings on 702 points, 28 ahead of Pekka Koskela of Finland and 56 ahead of American Tucker Fredricks. Fredricks finished eighth in the last race of the season.

Dutchman Bob de Jong claimed the 5,000-metre title ahead of compatriot Sven Kramer by 70 points.

Kramer finished 3.14 seconds ahead of de Jong when he completed the final race in 6:14.69, but De Jong's second place means he finished the season on 510 points.

American Jonathan Kuck was third and finished seventh overall.