Photo: Canadian Press

Golden start for Morrison, Nesbitt

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands – Olympic champs Denny Morrison and Christine Nesbitt are off to a hot start this world cup season. Morrison won Canada’s first long track medal of the season taking gold in the 1,000-metre race at Saturday’s ISU World Cup in Heerenveen, Netherlands, and Christine Nesbitt also took a gold medal in the 1,500 metres less than an hour later.

“It’s always nice to win,” said Morrison, who had not won this race since World Cup No. 6 in Kolomna, Russia in January 2009. “Today just happened to go well and maybe the ice was a little slower and it worked in my favour … It makes me really proud because there are a lot of guys out there who are really fast. It feels great to stand on top of the podium,” said the Fort St. John, BC native.

London, ON’s Nesbitt, winner of three gold and two silver medals and the World Cup points champion in the 1,500 metres last season, won the first race of the season in a time of one minute and 56.35 seconds. Skating in the second last pair with the silver medallist, Nesbitt beat Marrit Leenstra, of the Netherlands, by seven one thousandths of a second.

The ISU World Cup No. 6, featuring the 500- and 1,000-metre sprint distances, will be held at the Olympic Oval in Calgary on Jan. 19 and 20.