Two more medals for Canada at speed skating World Cup

Canada won the silver in the women’s pursuit and Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg added a bronze in the 1,500-metres on Sunday at a long track speedskating World Cup competition held at the 2006 Olympic venue.

In the women’s 2,400-metre pursuit, Russia won the gold in 3:06.21 with Canada a close second in 3:06.26. The Netherlands was third in 3:07.36. The Canadians and Dutch were the fourth and last pair of the day while the Russians went second against Romania.

The Canadian skaters were Kristina Groves of Ottawa, Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg. Nesbitt and Groves were part of Canada’s silver medal winning pursuit team at last year’s Olympics.

In the women’s 1,500, Ireen Wust of the Netherlands took the gold in 1:55.01 with Anni Friesinger of Germany second in 1:56.16 and Klassen, the Olympic champion, third in 1:56.38. Groves was fourth in 1:57.49 and Nesbitt fifth in 1:57.76. Schussler was 13th. Clara Hughes of Winnipeg was second in the B final with the 15th fastest time overall.

Friesinger, who won the first three 1,500 World Cup races, still leads the overall standings at the distance with 380 points with Nesbitt second at 280 and Wust third at 250.

In the men’s 5,000, World Cup leader Sven Kramer led the Netherlands to a 1-2 finish clocking 6:18.31 with Carl Verheijen second at 6:18.52 and Eskil Ervik of Norway third at 6:25.69. Arne Dankers of Calgary was fifth, his best World Cup result in the event, in 6:27.14.

“It was a pretty solid race and I’m really happy,” said Dankers. “I was pretty happy that my lap times were steady. I’ve had some good 5,000’s this year and I just wanted to continue that streak. I think though that everyone will step it up a notch next weekend at the worlds.”

In the B final, Justin Warsylewicz of Regina was second with the seventh fastest time overall, Lucas Makowsky of Regina third, Steven Elm of Red Deer, Alta., sixth and Mark Jesney of Saskatoon eighth.

The all around world championships are this Friday to Sunday in Heerenveen, the Netherlands. Canada’s short track team is also in action at the World Cup final in Budapest.