Germany’s Friesinger skates to new track record

Germany's Friesinger skates to new track record
Photo: dpa
Anni Friesinger of Germany claimed a new track record in Nagano, Japan on her way to regaining the women's 1,500 metre title at the world speed skating single distance championships on Thursday.

Friesinger, usually a 1,000 metre specialist, clocked one minute 56.06 seconds to beat Paulien van Deutekom of The Netherlands into second with 1:57.36 and World Cup champion Kristina Groves of Canada into third in 1:57.63. Her time beats a 10-year world record by 1:52.

“It was really a difficult race. I felt that 1,500 metres are longer, but it was really a good race,” said Friesinger, the winner of the distance in 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2004.

“I didn’t expect that I was so much faster than the runner-up and the ice was difficult to skate. I didn’t skate as a sprinter, I skated as a long-distance skater and I was satisfied with my technique, which was good.

“I can skate on all kinds of ice quality because I have a long experience. Now I’m very optimistic for the next distance of 1,000 metres.”

Friesinger has twice won the 1,500 metre in the seven-race World Cup series and eight out of 10 races in her favourite 1,000 metre race this season.