Medals for Jeremy Wotherspoon & Cindy Klassen at speed skating World Cup final

Jeremy Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., won the silver medal in the men’s 500-metre and quintuple Olympic medallist Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg added a bronze in the women’s 1,500 on Sunday to conclude the World Cup season in long track speed skating.

In the men’s 500, Kang-Seok Lee of South Korea won the gold medal clocking 34.98 with Wotherspoon second at 35.07 and Pekka Koskela of Finland third at 35.20. Mike Ireland of Winnipeg tied for seventh at 35.45.

‘’The first 50 metres weren’t great and I had tough time getting untracked,’’ said Wotherspoon, also third in Saturday’s 1,000. ‘’ I had a really fast lap and that helped a lot. It feels really good to end the season that way.’’

With the victory, Lee leapfrogged into first place overall in the 500 World Cup standings to take the season title with 746 points. Dmitry Dorofeyev of Russia and Olympic champion Joey Cheek of the U.S., were tied entering the final race. They were fourth and fifth respectively on Sunday to finish second and third in the standings. Wotherspoon, the 500 champion the last four years, placed fourth overall with six medal performances in eight races this season.

In the women’s 1,500, Ireen Wust of the Netherlands took the gold in 1:55.58 with Anni Friesinger of Germany second in 1:55.67 and Klassen, the Olympic champion in the event, third in 1:55.76. Kristina Groves of Ottawa, the Olympic silver medallist, was sixth.

Klassen, the 3,000 winner on Saturday, was paired with Friesinger and raced despite a bad cold.

‘’I had a decent race but I just didn’t feel very comfortable,’’ said Klassen. ‘’It was an exciting race and it went right down to the line for second place. So from that aspect it’s looking good for me heading into the world championships.’’

Friesinger takes the World Cup 1,500 title with Klassen, last year’s champion, second and Groves fourth.

In the men’s 1,500, Chad Hedrick led the U.S., to a 1-2 finish clocking 1:45.48 with Shani Davis second in 1:46.11 and Enrico Fabris of Italy third at 1:46.35. Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was fourth in 1:46.45.

Steven Elm of Red Deer was eighth and Jay Morrison of Fort St. John 14th.

Hedrick takes the World Cup title with 20-year-old Denny Morrison completing a breakthrough season on the circuit at second overall.

Other Canadian results Sunday: Ireland was eight in the men’s 100 dash and Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg 18th in the women’s 500.

The Canadian speed skaters here return to their training base in Calgary on Monday. Several of them including Klassen, Morrison, Groves and Olympic champion Clara Hughes of Winnipeg will prepare for the all around world championships March 18-19 in Calgary.

‘’I’m hopeful to get one day off to relax in Calgary before preparing for the worlds,’’ said Klassen. ‘’But it’s all up to my coach. I’m really excited about coming home and seeing everyone and being back in the comforts of home.

Klassen will have precious memories of her month-long European journey.

‘’It’s been incredible. We achieved our goals at the Games and coming home I think I’m going to look back and reflect on all the good times we had as a team. It was so much fun.’’