Winter Sports

Nesbitt skates to second straight gold at worlds

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The Canadian Press
3/24/2012 12:32:54 PM
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HEERENVEEN, Netherlands -- Canada's Christine Nesbitt won her second straight gold medal at the speedskating single distance world championships Saturday with a dominant performance in the 1,000 metres.

Nesbitt, who won the 1,500-metre title Friday, finished first in one minute 15.16 seconds. Jing Yu of China was nearly a second behind in 1:15.98 and Margot Boer of the Netherlands was third in 1:16.16.

Nesbitt, from London, Ont., started on the outside lane beside the Dutch skater. She said she panicked when Boer got off to a great start.

"I built my second corner really well anyway to try and chase her down," Nesbitt said. "I had a really good first lap off of that. The second lap I think I was sitting on my heel. I think I had a couple of slips.

"My coach said I had a pretty good race considering I almost fell. I don't think it was that dramatic."

Coach Xiuli Wang said Nesbitt almost went down with 250 metres to go.

"She had lots of speed," Wang said. "She wasn't holding well, but she got back and finished the race strong. Even if it wasn't a perfect race, she's in the elite and on a higher level."

Nesbitt clinched the women's Grand World Cup earlier this month. She said she's still in top form despite a few minor mistakes on Saturday.

"It was still a solid race and I'm really happy with it," Nesbitt said. "I felt powerful even if it wasn't perfect."

Regina's Kali Christ was ninth in 1:17.15 and Calgary's Kaylin Irvine was 17th in 1:18.19.

Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic won gold in the women's 5,000 metres in 6:50.46. Stephanie Beckert won the silver in 6:56.64 and German teammate Claudia Pechstein was third in 7:04.01.

Cindy Klassen was the top Canadian in seventh. Brittany Schussler, who's also from Winnipeg, was 15th.

Bob de Jong of the Netherlands won the men's 10,000 in 12:53.91. Teammate Jorrit Bergsma took the silver in 12:57.71 and American Jonathan Kuck earned the bronze medal in 13:12.66.

Toronto's Jordan Belchos was 13th.

Canada has won three gold medals at the competition. Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., finished first in the men's 1,500 on Thursday.

The season wraps up Sunday with two 500-metre races and the team pursuit.

Christine Nesbitt (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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