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Canada skates to silver in women's pursuit at Worlds

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The Canadian Press
3/25/2012 1:24:02 PM
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HEERENVEEN, Netherlands -- Cindy Klassen, Christine Nesbitt and Brittany Schussler combined to earn Canada a silver medal in women's team pursuit at the speedskating single distance world championships Sunday.

The Canadians finished in three minutes 0.51 seconds, but it wasn't enough to beat the Netherlands' time of 2:59.70.

Dutch skaters Ireen Wust, Diane Valkenburg and Linda de Vries skated the first sub-three-minute time for women this season to win gold. Poland took the bronze medal in 3:03.32.

"We had a bit of a new strategy today and some of it wasn't perfect, but I think we put out the strongest race that we could," said Schussler.

It was Canada's fourth medal at the tournament. Nesbitt, from London, Ont., won two golds -- both in the women's 1,000 and 1,500 -- while Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., picked up a gold in the men's 1,500.

Canada won the season's World Cup women's team pursuit title. Nesbitt, Klassen and Schussler, both of Winnipeg, won their three races, including the season finale.

In the men's pursuit, Canada's Morrison, Mathieu Giroux and Lucas Makowsky finished just off the podium in fourth place in 3:44.37 -- their best finish and fastest time this season.

Sven Kramer, Koen Verweij and Jan Blokhuijsen won gold for the Netherlands in 3:41.43 seconds. The United States took silver in 3:43.42 and Russians claimed the bronze medal in 3:43.62.

In the women's 500 metres, Nesbitt was fourth (38.28) in the first race and seventh (38.42) in the second for a fifth place final ranking.

Sang-Hwa Lee of South Korea won both 500 metres to take the gold, followed by Jing Yu of China for silver and Thijsje Oenema of the Netherlands for bronze.

Edmonton's Jamie Gregg ranked ninth overall after two races in the men's 500 metres.

Tae-Bum Mo of South Korea was the men's 500-metre champion. Michel Mulder of the Netherlands won the silver medal and Finland's Pekka Koskela took the bronze.

Brittany Schussler, Christine Nesbitt, Cindy Klassen (Photo: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
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