Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) earned his second individual medal in two days at the Erfurt World Cup. Skating the 1000m in 1:08.78, Morrison was only surpassed by American rival Shani Davis who finished with a time of 1:08.40. The bronze medal went to Jan Bos of The Netherlands(1:09.03).The Canadian men went on to win the team pursuit race with a time of 3:46.03. The Canadians closest rivals were the Italians (3:46.56) in second place and the Norwegians (3:48.56) in third place. Skating for Canada in the team pursuit were the Morrison brothers, Denny and Jay, and Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK).
“It was just a solid race,” explained Makowsky about the team pursuit race. “We came in with a specific race plan we wanted to execute. They were many teams who were dying in the end of their races and we didn’t want to fall in that same position. So we skated more of a conservative race at the beginning to finish strong, and it paid off for us at the end of the day. [Winning the World Cup Title] definitely ups our confidence for the World single Championships in Richmond. With the group change we had the beginning of the year, we’ve been able to practice all the elements of a pursuit together. It definitely shows that our training is paying off.”
In the 1000m, Kyle Parrott (Minnedosa, MB) had a great race, taking 7th place in 1:10.16, tying his best finish in a World Cup race so far (he was also 7th in the 1000m at the last World Cup in Kolomna). François-Oliver Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) came in 12th place. In Division B, Canadian skaters dominated as Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) and Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) clinched the top two spots. Gregg won the race with a time of 1:10.45 while Elm secured a second place finish thanks to a time of 1:11.02.
“Denny’s training programme has been designed to replicate the olympic year, so I think we are on track with what we wanted to accomplish,” said National Team Coach Marcel Lacroix. “Seeing Denny and Shani skate [the 1000m] was something. They were so fast that nobody could touch these guys. They both had the fastest opening and fastest lap. The race was very close, it was an exciting one.”