Silver for Cindy Klassen in classic speed skating showdown

Two of the most successful long track speed skaters lined up for a showdown in the day’s final pair in the women’s 1,000 metres on Sunday at a World Cup competition. When it was over, Anni Friesinger of Germany edged Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg by an eye lash for the gold medal.

Friesinger clocked 1:15.97 for her fourth victory in the 1,000 metres this season while Klassen, the winner on Saturday in her season opening World Cup race, clocked 1:16.02 as both skaters extended their blades at the finish in a near dead-heat at the line. Margot Boer of the Netherlands was third in 1:17.27.

“I try not to get to caught up in the hype when Anni and I face each other in a pair, but it’s great for the fans and for the sport,” said Klassen, who won five medals at the Turin Olympics last year while . “It was a very exciting race. She’s a great pair for me because she has a great start and I have to play catch up to her. I was really pleased with my race because I had a lot more left in the tank at the end.”

Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg posted one of the best World Cup results of her career finishing sixth in 1:17.80, Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was eighth and Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., was 21st.

With nine of 10 races completed this season in the 1,000, Chiara Simionato of Italy hangs on to the overall lead with 632 points followed by Rempel at 484 and Friesinger at 480.

In the women’s 500, Rempel was the top Canadian in 10th with Kim Weger of Regina was 13th, Schussler 16th and Myers 17th. Annette Gerritsen off the Netherlands won the race.

In the men’s 500, Mike Ireland of Winnipeg too ninth spot with Brock Miron of Calgary 12th and Vincent Labrie of St-Romuald, Que., 16th. Francois-Olivier Roberge of St-Nicolas, Que., was third in the B race.

In the men’s 1,000, Roberge was 10th, Miron 12th, and Labrie 16th. Jeff Kitura of Langley, B.C., won the B Group race.

Americans Tucker Fredricks and Shani Davis were the 500 and 1,000 gold medalists.

In the men’s 100-metre dash, Labrie was ninth, Ireland 13th, Miron 17th and Roberge 28th. In the women’s 100, Weger was seventh, Myers eighth, Rempel 17th and Schussler 21st.

The World Cup season continues next weekend in Turin.