Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Schussler skates to 1,500 bronze

It's Winnipegger's seventh long-track World Cup medal

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- Winnipeg's Brittany Schussler won her seventh individual long-track World Cup medal Saturday, skating to a bronze in the women's 1,500 metres.

Schussler's time of one minute 57.78 seconds put her 0.50 second behind the winning time of American Brittany Bowe (1:57.28) and 0.08 behind silver medallist Yuliya Skokova of Russia (1:57.70).

"I have felt like my 1,500-metre races have been getting stronger every weekend," Schussler said. "I know there's still a lot of work to be done, but I'm confident I can build off this performance."

Schussler now has one silver and six bronze medals on the World Cup circuit. Her last individual medal was a bronze in the 3,000 metres in Moscow on Jan. 28, 2011. She also has won 15 medals, including nine gold, as a member of Canada's women's team-pursuit squad, which currently holds the world record.

In men's competition, Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., placed fourth in the 1,000 metres with a time of 1:09.15. Shani Davis of the United States won his third straight 1,000 metres. Morrison was also fourth in the 1,000 metres in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Nov. 16.

"Staying out of the spotlight has its advantages," Morrison said. "Despite two fourth-place finishes now, I've actually managed to beat everyone on the World Cup circuit except for Shani Davis. And I know I can beat Shani Davis."

Kaylin Irvine of Calgary was second in the women's B 500 metres.

In men's B 500 metres, William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., was fifth, Winnipeg's Tyler Derraugh was eighth and Morrison was 17th.

Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin placed 13th and Edmonton's Nicole Garrido was 16th in women's B 1,500 metres. Dutton was fourth, Derraugh fifth and Regina's Lucas Makowsky 10th in the men's B 1,000 metres.

Imrie hits Olympic mark

OSTERSUND, Sweden -- Canada's Megan Imrie will compete in the Winter Olympics in February after posting one of the best World Cup biathlon sprint results of her career Saturday.

The 27-year-old from Falcon Lake, Man., missed just one shot on the range to clock a 22nd-place time of 22 minutes 8.4 second in the 7.5-kilometre event. Imrie's previous career-best sprint result was 17th. She also has a 20th-place finish in individual competition.

"It was a fantastic day. I felt great in the warm-up and I am very confident in my shooting now," said the 2010 Olympian. "I am very happy this caps off my Sochi qualification. Skiing was all flow and fight. It felt strong and smooth. I put it all out there today."

Norway's Ann Kristin Aafedt Flatland shot clean to win the women's sprint with a time of 20:41.2. Russia's Olga Zaitseva was also clean on the range to claim the silver at 20:57.1. Norway's Tora Berger grabbed the bronze at 21:03.2 (0+1).

Regina's Scott Perras was the top Canadian in the men's 10-kilometre sprint. Perras missed one shot in each of his two trips to the range to post a time of 27:38.8.

Martin Fourcade, of France, finished on top at 25:56.0 (0+1). Sweden's Fredrik Lindstroem was second at 26:02.5 (0+0) and American Tim Burke shot clean to win the bronze with a time of 26:27.3.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 1, 2013 B13

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