Zhang Hong of China wins gold in women's speed skating 1,000m
Canadian Christine Nesbitt 9th
Chinese speed skater Zhang Hong won the women's 1,000 metre event at the Adler Arena in Sochi on Thursday, with a blistering time of one minute, 14.02 seconds.
The Netherlands continued to bolster their medal haul in long track speed skating when Ireen Wust won silver with a time of 1:14.69. Wust's teammate Margot Boer earned the bronze in 1:14.90.
Christine Nesbitt skated against Zhang, and the Canadian finished the event in ninth position with a time of 1:15.62. The London, Ont native won the distance at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and dominated the event on the World Cup circuit up until last year.
"It’s my fastest time I’ve done this season. It’s a pretty decent time, but I’m still disappointed I died more than I’ve ever died in 1,000," said Nesbitt. "Two and a half seconds between my first and second lap, and that’s just completely uncustomary for me.
"It’s just been a really hard season. I’ve done the best I could. It’s disappointing but that’s the way it goes."
Despite her final position in the race, Nesbitt's time was one second faster than her winning time from Vancouver, indicating just how much faster the athletes are going in Sochi.
Calgary's Kaylin Irvine had to dodge Monique Angermueller when the German fell and slid across the Canadian's path. Irvine finished in 1:17.24, sitting in 18th. Kali Christ of Regina was the first Canadian to skate, finishing in 1:17.41, ranked 21st.
Winnipeg's Brittany Schussler was 30th overall, posting a time of 1:18.53.