Klassen sets another world record

Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen hasn't let her Olympic success prevent her from scaling new heights.

Klassen, who won five medals at last month's Torino Winter Games, set another world record in the 1,000 metres Friday at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

With her remarkable season nearing its end, the Winnipeg native amazingly shattered American Chris Witty's old mark by finishing in a time of 1 minute, 13.46 seconds.

Klassen beat Witty's time by 0.4 and erased the record set by the American at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics

The record is more impressive considering Klassen had to skate by herself after teammate Kerry Simpson decided not to race.

The victory earned Klassen $25,000.

"I'm really happy about it," said Klassen, who won the world all-round championship last week at the Oval, setting a 3,000-metre world record and world all-round points record (154.580) in the process.

"The whole race felt pretty good and my goal was to start hard. I was on the outer corner and sometimes it's harder to get going because it's a wider corner but I had a good opener...and had enough energy on the last lap to finish pretty strong."

In her usually calm demeanour, Klassen crossed the finish line and smiled after checking the clock.

Klassen now holds three world records, including one in the 1,500.

Her coach, Neal Marshall, is as amazed with Klassen's incredible season but actually thinks she can improve.

"I don't know. I don't think anyone does. She doesn't know but she can get better and she's getting better all the time," said Marshall.

"There's room for more work, more refinement. The technique, there's room for that, so who knows? There's room to go faster but by how much, we'll have to wait and see."

On the men's side, Jeremy Wotherspoon said Friday that he would be taking a year off.

"I want to take a break and do something different," the 29-year-old speedskater from Red Deer, Alta. said in a statement.

"I want to spend time travelling, taking some courses and fishing.

"As a speedskater, my schedule is so planned at the start of every year and I am looking forward to being able to do things that interest me when they come up. I do plan to come back. When I do, I will be more motivated to train and excited to get back and skate. I will have the right frame of mind."