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February 17/03 8:59 am - More Medals for CDN Speedskaters

Posted by Editoress on 02/17/03

Klassen Earns Bronze at World Cup
Courtesy Speed Skating Canada

Cindy Klassen earned another medal at the Speed Skating World Cup in Baselga di Pine, Italy on Sunday, by placing 3rd in the women's 3,000 metre event.

Anni Friesinger of Germany earned her second gold of the weekend clocking four minutes and 11.04 seconds. Her compatriot Claudia Pechstein was second in 4:14.77 while Klassen, who won Canada's first all around world title in 27 years last weekend, was third clocking 4:16.83. Clara Hughes was 5th.

Hughes is in second spot in the World Cup 3,000/5,000 standings with 340 points while Pechstein has a comfortable lead at 400 with one World Cup event remaining. Klassen, who is in position to win the 1,500 World Cup title, is third at 269.

"I'm pleased to maintain my second place overall," said Hughes. "I likely won't catch Claudia but that's not my main focus this season. We have another worlds to worry about next month (the world single distance championships) and if you spread yourself too thin you'll lose everything.''

Canada also won the gold medal in the women's team pursuit exhibition race clocking 3:08.79 over six laps. The race is similar to the pursuit in track cycling with teams starting at different sides of the oval. Racing for Canada were Klassen, Hughes and Groves.

''It reminded me a bit of the track cycling pursuit,'' said Hughes, a member of Canada's national track and road cycling teams. ''The key was we really made sure we took care of each other in the race. We had a lot of fun, although it hurt a lot. We were the team to beat and we wanted to win.''


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