Denny Morrison showing signs he’ll be ready for the Winter Olympics

The 28-year-old Fort St. John, B.C., native had another near podium skate on Saturday in the 1000m at the Essent World Cup Speed Skating event in Salt Lake City. Morrison finished fourth in 1:07.44 and missed a bronze medal by 0.41 seconds on a day that saw three of his Canadian teammates post personal bests and Sang-Hwa Lee of Korea lower her world 500m record for the third straight race.

Morrison was also fifth here on Friday in his top event, the 1500m. He once held the world record and won two world titles at that distance.

“Denny had a solid 1000m race,” said Speed Skating Canada’s long-track program director Sean Ireland. “It was an improvement over his races last weekend in Calgary, and it is his best placing since his injury last season. It was good to see him return to a very high level of performance this weekend that again puts him close to medal contention in both the 1000m and 1500m.”

Morrison was 11th in both events at the season-opening World Cup #1 in Calgary. He is making his way back after breaking his ankle while cross-country skiing in December 2012.