February 15, 2014 - 9:15 AM
2ND MEDAL FOR B.C.'S DENNY MORRISON
SOCHI, Russia -- Canadian speedskater Denny Morrison has won a bronze medal in the men's 1,500 metres at the Sochi Olympics.
It's the Fort St. John, B.C., native's second medal of the Games after he won silver in the 1,000.
Morrison finished in one minute 45.22 seconds while Poland's Zbigniew Brodka won gold in 1:45.006. Koen Verweij of the Netherlands missed the gold by a hair, finishing second in 1:45.009.
Both medals were a surprise for Morrison, who wasn't expected to contend for the podium in the individual events.
The 28-year-old finished 11th in the 1,500 at the 2006 Turin Games before settling for ninth four years ago in Vancouver.
But Morrison has since showed signs of improvement in the distance, most notably with a first-place finish at the 2012 world single distances championships.
Brodka knocked off all the big names to capturing Poland's first gold medal in Olympic speedskating.
It was the closest 1,500 in Olympic history. Brodka and Verweij were initially shown on the scoreboard as tied for the top spot, but when the time was broken down to the thousandths, the victory went to Brodka.
Brodka, who had skated in the 17th of 20 pairs, thrust his arms in the air when he saw the "1" appear beside his name -- the first major victory of his career. Verweij appeared to scream an expletive and glided around the inside of the track, shaking his head in disbelief. Even during the flower ceremony, he found it hard to muster a smile, despite giving the Dutch their record-tying 13th medal of these games.
It was another tough day for two-time silver medallist Shani Davis and the rest of the American team, who hastily went through a suit change because of concerns their new high-tech attire was actually slowing them down.
The U.S. got approval to switch back to the suits it wore during a successful World Cup season in the fall, but it sure didn't help. Brian Hansen of Glenview, Ill., was the top U.S. finisher in seventh.
The 31-year-old Davis, runner-up in the king of races at the last two Olympics, faded badly over the final lap and wound up 11th.
Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was 19th while Lucas Makowsky of Regina was 28th and Vincent de Haitre of Cumberland, Ont., was 33rd.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014