|Posted on February 27, 2010 at 1:52 AM|
Men will take at least silver.
Canadian speedskaters Denny Morrison, right, Lucas Makowsky and Mathieu Giroux, back, twice set an Olympic Record on Friday en route to advancing to the gold medal final. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
With a little something to prove, the Canadian men's speedskating pursuit team guaranteed themselves a medal by defeating Norway in the semifinals at the Richmond Oval on Friday.
The Canadian men's team of Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., Lucas Makowsky of Regina and Mathieu Giroux of Montreal posted an Olympic record time of three minutes 42.22 seconds.
They shaved time off the record they had just set earlier in the day by knocking off Italy in their quarter-final.
The result guarantees Canada will finish with at least 20 medals at the Vancouver Games.
"I think it was a little unexpected, but when three guys skate well together, good things like this happen," said Makowsky. "I don't think we expected that we would skate this fast out there, especially to do it twice like that an hour and a half apart.
"But we kept it together and now we're really happy."
The gold-medal final is at 12:50 p.m. PT on Saturday.
Canada will take on the United States, which upset a Netherlands team that included gold medallists Sven Kramer and Mark Tuitert.
Makowsky and especially Morrison had suffered disappointing results in individual events at the Games, but will now win at least silver. Morrison is the only holdover from the squad that won silver at the 2006 Torino Games.
"It comes down to having a plan, having a strategy and following it," said Morrison. "Each one of us has a job to do in each different part of the race ,and it makes it easy for us to focus on that job and not the whole race. It makes it easier."
The U.S. men's team is comprised of four-time Olympic medallist Chad Hedrick and two skaters just shy of their 20th birthday, Jonathan Kuck and Brian Hansen.
Shani Davis declined to be part of the pursuit team in order to focus on his individual events.
With files from The Canadian Press