Clara Hughes fourth in 3,000 at world speed skating championships

Clara Hughes of Glen Sutton, Que., finished fourth Saturday in the women’s 3,000-metres at the world single distance championships long track speed skating competition.

Claudia Pechstein of Germany took the gold clocking four minutes and 13.46 seconds. Her compatriot Anni Friesinger and Gretha Smit of the Netherlands tied for second at 4:13.85. Hughes was only 0.13 seconds from the silver finishing fourth in 4:13.98.

“I had my best race this year but it’s hard to swallow sometimes when it’s that close,” said Hughes, who’ll be a medal contender again on Sunday in the 5,000, her best event. “I didn’t feel it was a disadvantage to go in an earlier pair. That allowed me to skate my own race and set the bar for everyone else to follow. This result really gives me a lot of confidence for the 5,000.”

Kristina Groves of Ottawa was sixth in 4:17.09 and Tara Risling of Medicine Hat, Alta., 23rd.

Groves enjoyed a strong start to the season then posted some subpar results in February. She was pleased to bounce back at the world championships.

”I really went for it,” said Groves. “I started so fast but I didn’t panic. It’s a good time of the year to have things turn around. I had a tough few weeks but I think I came out of it a lot better for it. It was probably good for me to go through it and I think my race today was better because of that.”

Other Canadian results Saturday: in the women’s 500, Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 14th, Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., 17th and Kim Weger of Regina 20th. In the men’s 1,500 Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., was 12th, Jay Morrison of Fort St. John,B.C., 13th and Arne Dankers of Calgary 16th.