Morrison finishes as top Canadian in return

Morrison’s 13th place finish came at a time of 1:10.45, finishing just .03 seconds ahead of Canadian teammate, Jamie Gregg.

He admits that finishing as the top Canadian in the race was something he did not expect.

The Fort St. John speed skater says he was pleased with the results, which would usually not go over so well for the Olympian.

“I was pleased with the results, given the circumstances. Normally I wouldn’t be happy, but physically, I was not exactly where I wanted to be at a World Championship.”

Morrison has only taken part in nine on ice practices since his late December accident which resulted in his broken left leg.

Sometimes an injury can leave lingering effects on an athlete, especially following a competition where they are pushing themselves to the limit. However, Morrison says that following his first race of the weekend he felt good, and says he is 99 per cent pain free.

When examining Friday’s 1000 metre event, Morrison says it was an a new challenge for him to experience.

“I went into the race knowing I was not as fit, which provided an interesting mental challenge. I’ve never gone into a race with that attitude, but it helped me refocus on my skating mechanics.”

Morrison says the effects of his time away were noticable, especially with regards to his speed.

“My opener was 17.7 [seconds], which usually is 15.6. During my first lap, I was unable to reach my top speed, then on my final lap, I was unable to maintain my speed.”

Regardless, Morrison says once he hits the ice the competitive desire takes over.

“Even with the injury, I’m out here to race, so it was a small victory just being at the line.”

The 2013 World Single-Distance Speedskating Championships are being raced at the Adler Arena Olympic venue in Sochi, Russia, as a trial run to see if the venue is worthy of being used for the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2014.

Morrison says he was quite impressed with the venue, but admits the ice at the new complex suffers from “new ice syndrome”, citing inconsistencies in the ice conditions between his practice runs and his actual races.

Team Canada will race in the three man team pursuit this Sunday, March 24, and Morrison says he may be one of three racers in red and white.

The decision is up to the coaches, but he’s confident he will be getting the call based on his results.