Two fourth place finishes for Canada at speed skating World Cup

Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg and Canada’s men’s pursuit squad both posted fourth place finishes on Sunday to conclude the fourth stop on the long track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In the women’s 3,000 metres, Anni Friesinger led Germany to a medal sweep clocking 4:11.56 as she won both individual races this weekend at the outdoor oval. Claudia Pechstein was second in 4:12.81 and Daniela Anschutz third in 4:15.53.

Klassen, third in Saturday’s 1,500, followed in fourth in 4:17.38, her best result this season at the distance. Clara Hughes of Winnipeg and Kristina Groves of Ottawa, first and third in the distance’s World Cup standing entering Sunday’s race have the flu this weekend and did not race.

The all around world championships are next weekend in Moscow at a new indoor Olympic oval. Klassen is pleased with her momentum heading into the season’s big event

"I was very happy with my race today," said Klassen. "I started off slower than normal and I had my fastest splits ever the rest of the way. I felt really good at the end because I had let my pair get away at the beginning and then I was able to chase her down. The worlds are going to be very tough that’s for sure. The Germans are skating very fast right now."

In the B group race, Michèle d'Amours of Ste-Foy, Que., was fifth, Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., sixth and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg eighth.

In the men’s 3,200 metre pursuit, Norway took the gold in 3:52.53 with the U.S., second in 3:54.05, Poland third in 3:54.78 and Canada with Arne Dankers of Calgary and junior-aged skaters Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., and Justin Warsylewicz of Regina placed fourth in 3:55.19. A second Canadian entry with Philippe Marois of Ste-Foy, Que., Adam McCabe of Cambridge, Ont., and Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., was 13th.

The pursuit is a new Olympic event for next year.

"We’re in synch with our strides pretty good and that’s a key to success in pursuit," said Dankers. "When you do that you can lock yourself in the draft. We’re also pretty efficient in our exchanges."

Elm posted a terrific performance in the men’s 1,500 metres. He won the B group race in 1:49.59, the third fastest time of the day. He’ll move into the A group at the next World Cup.

Other B group results, Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was 10th, Justin Warsylewicz of Regina 11th, Philippe Marois of Ste-Foy, 15th and Adam McCabe of Cambridge, Ont., 20th.