Hughes earns two victories at speed skating nationals

Clara Hughes of Winnipeg won both the 1,500 and 3,000 metre races Saturday at the Canadian long track speed skating championships.

Hughes, chasing her first career national all around crown, clocked a personal best one minute and 58.82 seconds in the women’s 1,500-metres. Kristina Groves of Ottawa was second in 1:59.70 and Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg third in 1:59.87.

In the 3,000, Hughes won convincingly in 4:04.97 with Groves second in 4:08.83 and Tara Risling of Medicine Hat, Alta., third in 4:13.40.

"My time in the 1,500 shows that my technique is getting better," said Hughes, a bronze medallist in the 5,000 at the 2002 Olympics. "It’s not my best event but I’m feeling more comfortable at higher speeds."

Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg, Canada’s top-ranked all around skater, has already qualified for the world championships and decided to rest this weekend.

In the men’s 1,500, Canadian record holder Dustin Molicki of Calgary was the winner in 1:46.71. Jason Parker of Yorkton, Sask., was second in 1:47.09 and Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., third in 1:47.11.

In the men’s 5,000, Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., took the gold medal after placing fifth in the 1,500.

"It’s a great confidence booster to get that win,’ said Elm, a two-time Olympian. I’ve really struggled in the longer distances over the past couple of years. I was paired with Dustin and I knew we would have battle."

Competition ends Sunday.

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Saturday’s results at the Canadian long track speed skating championships:

MEN

All around

1500: 1. Dustin Molicki, Calgary, 1:46.71; 2. Jason Parker, Yorkton, Sask., 1:47.09; 3. Jeremy Wothersppoon, Red Deer, Alta., 1:47.11; 4. Kevin Marshall, Coquitlam, B.C., 1:47.14; 5. Steven Elm, Red Deer, 1:48.15; 6. Philippe Marois, Charlesbourg, Que., 1:48.19; 7. Mark Knoll, Regina, 1:49.16; 8. Jay Morrison, Fort St. John, B.C., 1:49.35; 9. Jeff Kitura, Langley, B.C., 1:49.38; 10. Mark Wild, Cambridge, Ont., 1:49.76.

5,000:

All around (after three of four events):



WOMEN

All around

1500: 1. Clara Hughes, Winnipeg, 1:58.82; 2. Kristina Groves, Ottawa, 1:59.70; 3. Shannon Rempel, Winnipeg, 1:59.87; 4. Tara Risling, Medicine Hat, Alta., 2:00.52; 5. Brittany Schussler, Winnipeg, 2:00.78; 6. Tiffany Hughes, Ontario, 2:01.56; 7. Krisy Myers, Lloydminster, Sask., 2:01.56; 8. Kerry Simpson, Melville, Sask., 2:02.01; 9. Selina Elm, Red Deer, Alta., 2:03.67; 10. Danielle Wotherspoon, Red Deer, 2:05.00.

3,000: 1. Clara Hughes, 4:04.97; 2. Groves, 4:08.93; 3. Risling, 4:13.40; 4. Tiffany Hughes, 4:18.84; 5. Elm, 4:20.09; 6. Simpson, 4:20.25; 7. Schussler, 4:21.70; 8. Shannon Sibold, Calgary, 4:22.00; 9. Vivien Hannos, B.C., 4:25.58; 10. Chelsey Parker, Melville, Sask., 4:27.11.

All around (after three of four events):