Wotherspoon wins silver, Klassen bronze at speed skating World Cup

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., won silver in the men’s 500-metres and Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg, added a bronze in the women’s 1,500 to open the World Cup final in long track speed skating.

In the men’s 500, FengTong Yu of China, paired with Wotherspoon, earned his second win this season clocking 35.07 at the indoor oval. Wotherspoon, who clinched the 500 World Cup crown last weekend, was second in 35.13 and Dmitry Lobkov of Russia was third in 35.14.

Mike Ireland of Winnipeg was eighth and Brock Miron of Cornwall, Ont., 18th. In the B final, James Monson of Winnipeg was eighth.

"The start and the first turn didn’t feel right," said Wotherspoon. "And I lost some acceleration there. Otherwise it was solid and strong. The fact that I had the title locked had no bearing on how I raced. I didn’t think about it all. I wasn’t surprised to see Yu do that well, he wanted to show his win last week was no fluke."

In the women’s 1,500, Anni Friesinger of Germany was the winner in 1:57.15 with Jennifer Rodriguez of the U.S., third in 1:57.19 and Klassen third in 1:57.83.

It’s a remarkable result for Klassen, in only her second race this season. She returned to competition last weekend (placing seventh in the 1,500) after missing the entire season due to a serious arm injury suffered in October.

"When I crossed the finish line I was really happy with the time and it just felt good," said Klassen, last year’s world all around champion and an Olympic bronze medallist in 2002. "But I didn’t expect the time to be a medal. I’m very surprised. I mean the time was faster than what I did in Calgary in training before coming here. And in Calgary the ice is very fast."

Kristina Groves of Ottawa was 19th while in the B final, Kerry Simpson of Melville, Sask., was seventh.

Other Canadian results: in the men’s 5,000, Arne Dankers of Calgary was 18th while in the B final, world junior champion Justin Warsylewicz of Regina was ninth and Dustin Molicki of Calgary 25th; in the women’s 500 B final, Krisy Myers of Calgary was second, Kim Weger of Regina seventh, Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer 10th and Brittany Schussler of Winnipeg 14th.

Competition continues Saturday.