Silver medals for Klassen & Le May Doan at speed skating World Cup

Olympic champion Catriona Le May Doan won the silver medal in the women’s 500 metres Saturday at the long track speed skating World Cup final while Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg was also second in the women’s 3,000.

In the women’s 500, world sprint champion Monique Garbrecht-Enfeldt of Germany earned her eighth victory this season and won the distance’s World Cup crown clocking 38.23 seconds. Le May Doan took second spot at 38.64 and finishes second in the 500 World Cup standings. Svetlana Zhurova of Russia was third in 38.84.

Kim Weger of Regina was 18th and Krisy Myers of Lloydminster, Sask., 19th.

In the women’s 3,000, Anni Friesinger of Germany was the winner in 4:06.57 while Klassen, the all around world champion, took second in 4:08.14. Gretha Smit of the Netherlands was third in 4:10.09. On Friday Klassen beat Friesinger in the 1,500.

Clara Hughes of Winnipeg was seventh, Kristina Groves of Ottawa eighth and Tara Risling of Medicine Hat, Alta., 19th.

The World Cup season ends Sunday and the long track season concludes next weekend at the world singles distance championships in Berlin.

‘’To be only one second from fourth was a bit frustrating,’’ said Groves, who is having a strong season in Klassen’s shadow including fourth at the world all around championships last month. ‘’I was a bit slow off the line. But it’s made me even hungrier for the next week and I feel I’m getting better and better.’’

In the final 3,000/5,000 World Cup standings, Claudia Pechstein of Germany, sixth Saturday, holds on for the crown with Hughes second and Klassen third. Hughes is elated with her season which includes one World Cup win and gold at the world all arounds last month in the 5,000.

‘’I never imagined I could be in this position,’’ said Hughes. ‘’I was just hoping to be a better skater this year and I can’t believe I’ve achieved all this. But today I didn’t have my best day and it’s probably the reminder I needed for next week. I’m really confident I can comeback with a strong performance.’’

Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands had a big day winning both the men’s 500 and 1,000 metre races. He set a track record in the 1,000 clocking 1:09.11 and leads that distance’s World Cup standings.

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg, second in the 500 Friday, was seventh Saturday while Brock Miron of Calgary was 13th and Mark Nielsen of Calgary 17th. Jason Parker of Yorkton, Sask., was 15th in the 1,000.

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., who had already clinched the 500 World Cup season title, injured his back Friday and didn’t race Saturday. Wotherspoon was feeling better Saturday but is still pretty sore. He doubts he’ll be on the line in Berlin.

‘’I have a sprain in my lower spine,’’ said Wotherspoon, 26, the world sprint champion this year. ‘’I’m doing everything I can to get it better for next weekend. But the way it feels now I don’t see how I’ll be able to skate. I’ve had a great year but it would be a bit disappointing to end it this way.’’

In the women’s 1,000, Jennifer Rodriguez of the U.S., took the gold ahead of teammate Chris Witty. Le May Doan was sixth, world junior champion Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg 11th while Klassen won the B group race with the sixth best time of the day.

Competition ends Sunday with another 1,000-metre for the men and women and the men’s 5,000.