Warsylewicz Skates On Track; Klassen Affirms She’s Back

Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK) continued his excellent skating thus far, while Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) met expectations Saturday, at the Calgary Oval during the long track Fall World Cup Selections.

In his third race of the selections, Warsylewicz was first to cross the line in the 5000m event in a time of 6:28.58. Second in Friday’s 1500m event, the Saskatchewan native is having a great season opener; odds are excellent that he’ll be able to skate in at least two distances at the Fall World Cups.

“I’m really happy,” confirmed Warsylewicz. “The last few years were a tough go for me mentally, physically, and in terms of technique. I feel like I’m back on the right track again,” continued the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games team pursuit silver medalist.

“Today is big step forward. I didn’t skate regularly in World Cups these past few years. To win the 5000m and to score one of the fastest Canadian times so far this season helps me to be optimistic about upcoming races. The season has just started and I know I can skate faster,” he calculated. “I’d like to get closer to my personal best time. If I can do that at a World Cup, I should get some solid results,” concluded Warsylewicz, who has skated the distance in 6:20.04 in the past.

Saturday, Warsylewicz bested Leo Landry (Ottawa, ON), who came in second in 6:31.44, Keith Sulzer (Calgary, AB), third in 6:40.29.

Back to Work With A Smile

Cindy Klassen finished second in the women’s 3000m event, behind Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) who came in at 4:04.04 (Groves has pre-qualified to race this distance). With a time of 4:06.51, Klassen should be skating alongside Groves in this distance at the World Cup.

“I’m really happy to qualify,” smiled the Manitoban, content to be back on the ice. “I’ve really been training well and I felt good and strong throughout the race today.” The five-time medalist at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games returned to competition last year after knee surgery; this season she’s looking forward to the upcoming weeks.

“Training is great; we have a fantastic group of girls who push each other. It’s also good to see some new faces and know that our sport is becoming even more popular.”

Also skating the 3000m, Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) took third in 4:06.91, while Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) came in fourth in 4:07.40.

World Cup Selections at the Calgary Oval will come to a close Sunday, with the women’s 500m and 5000m events, and the men’s 500m and 10 000m events.

The skaters who will comprise Team Canada and compete at Fall World Cup races will be announced by Speed Skating Canada’s High Performance Committee next week.