10/22/2016 17:31 EDT | Updated 10/23/2017 01:12 EDT

Morrison finishes fourth in 1,000 metres at long track World Cup selections

CALGARY — Canadian speed skater Denny Morrison continued his return to competition with a fourth-place finish in the 1,000 metres on Saturday at the long track fall World Cup selections.

Morrison is skating in his first sanctioned competition in 18 months after having a motorcycle accident in 2015 and suffering a stroke last April. He placed 14th in the 500-metre race on Friday. 

"I'm feeling happy right now, especially about being in the hunt with the top guys," said Morrison, the silver medallist in the 1,000 at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "These are some of the best sprinters in the world. ... based on where I am regarding my recovery, it feels good to be in the hunt like this.

"My opener is just not there, I'm a second behind these guys. The snap is also missing, so if I can get that back, things will fall into place."

Vincent de Haitre of Cumberland, Ont., won the 1,000 in one minute 8.12 seconds, followed by Gilmore Junio (1:09.02). Morrison (1:09.508) was only three thousandths of a second away from third-place finisher Laurent Dubreuil.

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix won the second men's 500 race of the weekend in 34.50, beating Friday's winner Gilmore Junio by one hundredth of a second. Dubreuil was third in 34.58.

Marsha Hudey, the winner in the women's 500 on Friday, won the second 500 on Saturday in 37.77. Noemie Fiset (38.39) skated to a second-place finish while lowering her personal best by 12 hundredths of a second and Kaylin Irvine was third (38.62).

Ivanie Blondin took the women's 1,000 in 1:15.64, earning her third victory of the competition. Hudey finished second (1:15.69) while Irvine (1:15.86) was third.

"I'm really surprised with my 1,000, but excited because things are going in the right direction," said Hudey. "This race was consistent with my 500 from yesterday. However, it was a struggle coming down the last 50 metres and I was just trying to give everything in that race."