Cindy Klassen wins third medal of Games

Long-track speedskater Cindy Klassen has become the first Canadian woman to win three medals at a single Winter Olympics.

The Winnipeg native captured a silver in the women's 1,000 metres at the Turin Games on Sunday. She finished in a time of one minute 16.09 seconds. Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands won in 1:16.05 just ahead of bronze medallist Anni Friesinger of Germany in 1:16.11.

The 26-year-old becomes just the third Canadian - and first woman - to win three medals at one Winter Olympics. She won bronze in the women's 3,000 metres a week ago - matching her result in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics - and helped Canada to a silver in the team pursuit on Thursday.

Marc Gagnon won two golds and one bronze in short-track in Salt Lake City in 2002, while fellow Quebecer Gaeten Boucher matched that in long-track at the 1984 Games in Sarajevo.

"These Games have been awesome. I've been having such a great time here with my team and the racing has been really fun."

Kristina Groves of Ottawa finished fifth in 1:16.54 while Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., was 14th in 1:17.54 and Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 24th in 1:18.35.

Klassen doesn't usually skate in the 1,000 on the World Cup circuit and was in one of the early pairs. That meant she had to wait more than an hour to see if her time would be good enough for the podium.

"I wasn't getting my hopes up at all, Marianne beat my time right away and so I just thought it would be like boom, boom, boom, that every next pair was going to be beating my time, but somehow I held on, and I was really excited about getting a silver," she said.

Klassen also becomes the most decorated Canadian female winter Olympian ever with four career medals. She won bronze at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Biathlete Myriam Bedard and speedskaters Isabelle Charest, Nathalie Lambert, Catriona Le May Doan and Annie Perrault all won three career medals.

Swimmers Anne Ottenbrite and Elaine Tanner are the only other Canadian women to win three medals at a single Games. Ottenbrite captured gold in the 200-metre breaststroke, silver in the 100 breaststroke and bronze in the 4x100 medley relay, while Tanner won silver in the 100 and 200 backstroke and bronze in the 4x100 freestyle relay.

Six Canadian women have won two medals in a single Games: Le May Doan, Bedard, Lambert, Perrault and alpine skiers Nancy Greene-Raine and Karen Percy.

Timmer won the event eight years ago at the Nagano Games.

It was the first loss this season in a 1,000 for Friesinger, who was the overwhelming favourite entering the Games.


Source: CP with files from CBC