Canadian speedskater Denny Morrison collects silver in 1,000

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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ERFURT, Germany The only thing that might have stood between Denny Morrison and a fourth straight gold medal is a lane change.

The Canadian speedskater had to settle for silver in the 1,000 metres Sunday at a long-track World Cup event. Coach Marcel Lacroix believes Morrison could have beaten rival Shani Davis if their lane positions were reversed.

If he was on the inner lane I think he would have won the race, it was so close, said Lacroix. If he had started in the inner lane, Im confident he would have won.

Nobody could touch those guys today. If the lanes were interchanged, Denny would have beaten (Davis).

Instead, the native of Fort St. John, B.C., finished second in one minute 8.78 seconds less than half a second slower than the Olympic champion Davis.

Jan Bos of the Netherlands was third in 1:09.03.

After a slow start to the World Cup season, Morrison has been on a torrid streak lately. He won the gold medal in the 1,500 metres Saturday with a track-record time of one minute 45.32 seconds.

The victory came a week after Morrison won a pair of gold medals in the 1,000 at a World Cup stop in Russia. Hes clearly found his form.

The training plan was to have Denny skating really well in January to simulate what hes going to do next year before the (2010 Vancouver) Olympics, said Lacroix. This year was to try some different things. If some mistakes are going to be made, its going to be this year. Right now, its working really well for him.

With one race remaining on the schedule and 100 points at stake, Davis has the overall standings lead with 690 points. Morrison trails in second at 600 points.

Also Sunday, Canada wrapped up the overall team pursuit title after finishing up the season with 310 points in the standings 90 ahead of Italy. Japan was third at 210.

It was a very solid season for us, said Reginas Lucas Makowsky. Weve just become more comfortable skating behind each individual.

The race they did was absolutely flawless, added Lacroix. They were totally confident.

German star Anni Friesinger won the womens 1,000 for her second victory in two days after taking the 1,500 on Saturday. She now has 57 World Cup wins.

Friesinger covered the distance in 1:15.61.

Two Chinese sprinters also made the podium. Yu Jing was second in 1:16.41 and Jin Peiyu was third in 1:16.42.

Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg finished sixth as the top Canadian in the race. Ottawas Kristina Groves was ninth.

Two Canadians remained atop the overall standings. Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., leads with 541 points while Groves is second with 462.

Geographic location: ERFURT, Germany, Fort St. John Netherlands Russia Vancouver Canada Italy Japan Winnipeg London, Ont.

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