Klassen's super quick

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

When Cindy Klassen checked the Olympic Oval scoreboard, she noticed she didn't just set a new 3,000-m speed skating world record, she shattered the old mark.

Skating alongside former world record holder Claudia Pechstein of Germany, Klassen finished in three minutes 55.75 seconds, destroying Pechstein's old time by nearly two seconds at the Essent long track World Cup yesterday.

After the race, Klassen, who hails from Winnipeg, said she had nothing left in the tank when she crossed the line.

"It was a battle at the end and, luckily, I was able to hold onto it and skate a new world record," said Klassen, last season's 1,500 and 3,000-m world single distance champion.

"I was pretty tired and I felt sick, actually. In the last lap, my coach was yelling 'Keep the tempo up' but my mind was screaming 'I can't keep it up,' so I was pretty bagged at the end."

Pechstein finished second in 3:57.99, while Anni Friesinger, also of Germany, took third in 3:58.52, a personal best. Ottawa's Kristina Groves finished fourth in 3:59.48, while Clara Hughes of Glen Sutton, Que., was eighth.

While the longer distances aren't Klassen's specialty, she served notice she'll be a factor in the 3,000 at the Winter Games in Turin this February.

Klassen will skate in the 1,500m, her best event, today, where she and Friesinger should battle for the top two spots.

Meanwhile, Denny Morrison had a silver medal time but he didn't get the hardware that comes with it.

The 20-year-old from Fort St. John, B.C., had the second-best time (1:44.10) -- the third fastest in history -- in the 1,500m but there was no medal draped around Morrison's neck because he competed in Div. B. American Shani Davis, the world record holder and Morrison's buddy and training partner, took the gold in 1:43.52.

"It's too bad there was no medal but with it being my first year of senior, I have to work my way up," said Morrison, who moves up to the 'A' group for next weekend's World Cup in Salt Lake City. "This was a race-off for me and the other Canadian skaters for future World Cups, so I didn't want to choke and have a bad race."

In fact, the Canadian men swept the top four spots in Div. B. Second was Red Deer's Steve Elm (1:45.45), followed by Jason Parker of Yorkton, Sask., in 1:46.54. Fourth was Morrison's brother, Jay, in 1:46.58.

Meanwhile in the men's pursuit, a new Olympic event for Turin, Canada's Denny Morrison, Steven Elm and Arne Dankers took the gold in 3:39.69 -- a new world record.


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