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Klassen Wins Women's 1,500m Speedskating Gold
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Cindy Klassen of Canada won the women's 1,500-meter speed skating on Wednesday to take her Turin Games medal tally to four.

Klassen, who has already won two silvers and a bronze, clinched the gold in a time of 1.55.27.

Compatriot Kristina Groves, whose stunning race of 1:56.27 saw her lead until Klassen's run, settled for the silver, while Dutch threat Ireen Wust ended up third.

Defending Olympic champion Anni Friesinger from Germany and Dutch skater Marianne Timmer were left out of the medals.

Klassen relished the occasion that Canadian skaters finished one-two in the race. "For us to both on the podium together after such amazing race is wonderful. I couldn't have done it without my coach and team-mates. I've had a really good year," she said.

After bagging her fourth medal in Turin, the 26-year-old skater sent out a warning to her competitors in the 5,000-meter race, the women's next event.

"I guess I've so much fun that I've been able to stay relaxed," she said. "That's important for me, the more relaxed I am, the better I skate."

"I want to enjoy this moment tonight and then re-focus for the 5,000 meters. I still have work to do," she added.

Friesinger was left in a listless mood after her lackluster skate. "For quite a while there was no speed in my skating and I don't know why that was," she said.

"I'm very tired at the moment. Sometimes you have a good recovery but at this moment I don't have it. I hoped for a medal and I expected it, but it didn't work out," she said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2006)

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