Sang-Hwa Lee rings up another World Cup speed skating victory
Canada's Denny Morrison 11th in men's 1,500
Sang-Hwa Lee continued her mastery of the field in women's 500 metre speed skating Friday in Kazakhstan.
The South Korean crossed in a time of 37.27 seconds, with longtime rival Jenny Wolf of Germany nearly a half-second back. Nao Kodaira of Japan was third, edging out American Heather Richardson.
Lee has set the world record in the 500 on four separate occasions this year, with the new mark of 36.36 seconds achieved on Nov. 16 in Salt Lake City.
Dennis Yuskov of Russia took gold in the men's 1,500 metres, a competition in which Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., finished 11th and Lucas Makowsky of Regina was 17th.
"I have been steadily improving in the 1000m throughout this season, both in time and ranking," Morrison said. "The result in my 1500m wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I believe my skating has continued to improve and that with better execution Saturday I will have a better result."
Yuskov's winning time was one minute, 45.06 seconds. Koen Verweij of the Netherlands came second, with Poland's Zbigniew Brodka in third.
Shani Davis of the U.S., looking to win medals in three straight Olympics in Sochi, settled for fifth.
Familiar foes battled it out in the women's 5,000, with Martina Sablikova of Czech Republic prevailing in 6:59.88, over a second ahead of 41-year-old Claudia Pechstein of Germany. Yvonne Nauta of the Netherlands was third.
Kaylin Irvine of Canada impressed on the Astana track in the 500 metre B final, finishing second. Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa was top Canadian in the 5,000 B final in 12th place, while Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was 10th in the B final for the men's 1,500.
All told, 11 Canadians are competing.
Edmonton's Jamie Gregg and Gilmore Junio of Calgary, who've each reached the World Cup podium early this season, are not at the competition this weekend, nor is Olympic gold medallist Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont.
Nesbitt will return next week at the Berlin World Cup stop.