CALGARY -- Speedskater Denny Morrison was 50 metres away from a spot on the Canadian Olympic team in the 1,000 metres on Monday.
But with his mind already on qualification, disaster struck.
Skating in the outer lane coming up to the finish, Morrison, from Fort St. John, B.C., clipped his skates and fell coming around the final turn on the second day of the Olympic trials for Canada's long track team.
He was given a re-skate about an hour later, but his time of one minute 09.04 only gave him the fifth fastest time, leaving him on the outside with Canada given four berths in the distance in Sochi.
"I was already thinking I've already qualified for the Olympics," said Morrison, who said the re-skate was always going to be a tough task to replicate a winning performance since he was essentially skating 'on a half tank of gas.'
"I just need to coast across the line and then I fall and you lose a couple seconds or whatever."
The result does not spell the end of Morrison's Olympic dreams. The 1,000 metres was one of his preferred events with 23-career medals on the World Cup circuit, but he still has a chance to qualify through the 1,500 metres, another of his preferred events on Thursday.
He's a two-time World Champion in the 1,500.
After his media obligations were complete, Morrison's parents and brother Jay, himself a former speedskater, were there to embrace and console him.
Looking for a spot in his third Olympics, Morrison has a silver medal from the team pursuit from the 2006 Olympics in Turin and gold from the team pursuit in Vancouver in 2010, but an individual Olympic medal is still something that has eluded him despite numerous World Championship medals.
Morrison's loss was the gain of Ottawa's Vincent de Haitre, who skated the race of his life in taking about half a second off his previous personal best to win with a time of 1:08.37.
At just 19-years-old, de Haitre is now the national champion in the 1,000 metres in long-track speed skating and in the 1,000 metre time trial (called the Kilo) in track cycling.
"I have a slower start than most of these guys but I managed to pull it together on the last lap and keep the speed up," said de Haitre, who missed Morrison's spill since he was watching the scoreboard at the time, expecting to see how his time matched up with the veteran skater.
"I was shocked, really. All these skaters are really good and I'm just glad I could compete with them."
Quebec City's Muncef Ouardi finished in second place (1:08.78), Gilmore Junio of Calgary was third (1:08.87) and William Dutton of Humbolt, Sask., finished in fourth (1:08.94).
Jeremy Wotherspoon, whose comeback bid took a hit on Saturday with a sixth place in the 500 metres, chose not to compete on Monday and has likely skated competitively for the final time.
Canada's Olympic long-track speedskating team will consist of 10 women and eight men in all disciplines and will be announced on Jan. 22.
In the women's 1,000 metres, Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., won her second distance of the trials. After winning the 500 metres on Saturday, Nesbitt won the 1,000 in a time of 1:14.19.
Nesbitt is the defending Olympic gold medallist in the distance but has found results hard to come by this year.
In two 1,000 metre races on the World Cup season this year, she hasn't finished in the top-10 hasn't and lost her world record in the 1,000 to American Brittany Bowe.
Nesbitt should be joined by Olympic debutantes Kali Christ and Kaylin Irvine.
Christ, from Regina, and Irvine, of Calgary, finished in second and third with times of 1:15.27, and 1:15.86, respectively.
"Right now I'm so overwhelmed. It hasn't really sunk in yet," said Christ, who didn't compete in the 500 metres on Saturday as she was nursing a minor groin injury. "I just think it hasn't quite hit me. I'm sure later tonight I'll be quite jittery."
Brittany Schussler, who won the 3,000 metres on Thursday, likely did enough to secure a spot in her second distance in Sochi. She finished fourth with a time of 1:15.98.