|Posted on November 10, 2012 at 1:55 PM|
By Scott Fisher ,Calgary Sun First posted: Sunday, November 04, 2012 05:33 PM MST
Olympic speed skater Denny Morrison at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.
Denny Morrison is ready to roll.
The defending 1,500-metre world champion speed skater kicked off his season on
the weekend at the Olympic Oval.
Morrison didn’t need to skate the 1,500m, but he posted the quickest time (1:44.73) at Speed Skating Canada’s Fall World Cup long track trials.
“It seems like every race I do this year, I get faster and faster,” Morrison said.
“And that’s how I like to feel this time of year.”
Morrison also skated the 500m Sunday as part of his training regimen.
“It helps with the top-end speed. And it helps to compare yourself from season to season. This year, I’m skating the 500 four-tenths faster than I was last season.
“My 1,500 is faster by a few tenths and my 5km is faster by 10 seconds, so I feel it’s going to be a good season.”
The World Cup season kicks off Friday, Nov. 16, at Heerenveen, Netherlands, where Morrison will look to retain his belt.
“I want to defend the world championship,” the 27-year-old said.
“It’s a pre-Olympic season, so world champs is the big competition this year, and it’s at the Olympic venue.
“So it’ll be the test event to see how you fare on that ice and at that venue, so it should be interesting.”
Calgarian Gilmore Junio had a big Sunday, winning both 500m races to punch his ticket to the Netherlands.
“I’m really excited by (placing first) and going to World Cups,” Junio said.
“It’s a pretty good feeling.
“It’s my first win in a long-track competition. Both races went by pretty quick.
“I just thought about executing the points in my head. I had a checklist. Before I knew it, (the race) was over.”
Junio won his races in times of 34.807 and 34.643 seconds, the second setting a personal best.
Reigning 1,000m and 1,500m world champion Christine Nesbitt (London, Ont.) was also the women’s top skater in the 500m, winning both her races.
Red Deer’s Danielle Wotherspoon and Calgary’s Anastasia Bucsis rounded out the top three.