Nothing worries Klassen

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Cindy Klassen didn't break a world record over the weekend, but there's no need to worry.

She'll be OK.

The 25-year-old Winnipeg speed skater, who has set a whopping three world records this fall, won a bronze and a silver at the fourth World Cup event of the season in Heerenveen, the Netherlands.

Klassen finished second in the 1,500 metres yesterday, just 24 hours after placing third in the 5,000.

For someone who seems to set world records every time she steps on the ice, second and third must have felt like 17th and 18th. Not for Klassen, however.

"I was happy with it," she said last night from her hotel room in the Netherlands. "The 5K is not the distance that I'm really aiming for, so coming third was really awesome. I was really happy with the time.

"It was only two seconds off my personal best, so to do that here at low altitude was really good. I was really happy with that."

As for the 1,500, Klassen knew exactly why she finished six-tenths of a second behind rival Anni Friesinger of Germany.

"It wasn't as good as my races in the past," she said. "I didn't start as hard as I normally do. I was a lot slower on the opener, and that's where I lost it."

Team Canada coach Neal Marshall concurred.

"Cindy felt pretty good in her race, but she lacked her usual speed at the start," Marshall said. "But the rest of her race went very well."

It's not like Klassen was expecting to blaze around the track in another record-setting time anyway.

"Skating here, the ice is a lot slower," she said. "You really have to work hard on it. You don't get the glide like you do in Calgary and Salt Lake."

Not only that, but competing in the 5,000 just 24 hours earlier can take a little bit out of you.

"You probably aren't going to feel as snappy as if you did the 1,500 first, but everybody did the 5K before, so it's not like you're in a worse off situation than someone else," she said.

Friesinger increased her World Cup standings lead over second-place Klassen to 40 points.

The skaters are sure to get chills this weekend at the next World Cup stop. That's because they're off to Turin, Italy, which is the site of February's Winter Olympics.

Klassen said she doesn't need a win in Turin this weekend to get a good vibe going into the Olympics.

"The big thing about racing in (Turin) is that we're gonna get a good feel for the track and just get to know the environment, so that when we go back in February it's not going to be a big shock to us," she said.

Winnipeg's Clara Hughes, who won gold in the 5,000 on Saturday, finished 18th in the 1,500 yesterday.

Another bonus for Klassen over the weekend was helping Canada earn an Olympic berth in the team pursuit after it finished second to the Netherlands.

"We're pretty happy about that," Klassen said. "We don't have to worry about that anymore."


Videos

Photos