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Italy's Fabris wins at speedskating World Cup

KEARNS, Utah - KEARNS, Utah (AP) — The Shani and Chad show got interrupted by the rest of the world Saturday, with a couple of Olympic veterans easily outdoing the Americans in the final long-track speedskating World Cup before the Vancouver Olympics.

Enrico Fabris of Italy won the 5,000 meters in 6 minutes, 6.06 seconds at the Utah Olympic Oval. He was the bronze medalist in the event at the 2006 Turin Games, winning his country's first Olympic speedskating medal.

Veteran Bob de Jong of the Netherlands finished second in 6:08.76, followed by Ivan Skobrev of Russia in 6:10.58. Dutchman Carl Verheijen was fifth in the 12½-lap race.

With his mouth hanging wide open over the final five laps, Hedrick was sixth in 6:13.51. Davis was ninth among 20 skaters in 6:15.64.

Earlier, Davis finished 17th in the 500.

Davis and Hedrick went 1-2 in the 1,500 on Friday, with Davis lowering his world record in the event.

Hedrick was encouraged by his results Saturday as he continues his comeback after taking a break following the Turin Olympics. His coach, Derek Parra, told him he hadn't seen Hedrick skate that well in a long time.

"I definitely know I turned some heads today and they know I'm coming in the right direction," he said. "I do think I have a great chance to do well in the 5,000 or I wouldn't step out on the ice. I'm very happy and content where my program is taking me."

Davis didn't speak to U.S. reporters for the second consecutive day.

The men's 500 was dominated by South Koreans Lee Kyou-Hyuk and Lee Kang-Seok, who finished 1-2 in the sprint.

Kyou-Hyuk won in 34.26 seconds, repeating his victory from Friday's same event, while Kang-Seok crossed in 34.28.

American Tucker Fredricks was third in 34.35, one of two podium finishes for the U.S. on the second day of the three-day meet.

Like Hedrick, Jennifer Rodriguez is making a comeback. The two-time Olympian, who skipped the 2006 Games, finished third in the women's 1,500 behind Canadians Christine Nesbitt and Kristina Groves.

"I know I'm there and I know it can be done. That gives me a little bit of hope," Rodriguez said. "This is fast ice and I'm a fast-ice skater. I need to be able to do this on slow ice."

Skating in the same final pairing, Nesbitt won in 1:52.76 and Groves finished in 1:53.32.

"I started really faster than I expected and I died really hard, but it was still enough," Nesbitt said. "I have a hard time racing Kristina because she sneaks up on me at the end. Today, I didn't care."

Rodriguez was another 1.43 seconds behind Nesbitt, crossing in 1:54.19 — her best time by a half-second.

"It's nice to come across the line and be really satisfied with your race," she said.

Like Turin, the ice at the Olympic oval in Vancouver is expected to be considerably slower than other tracks on the international circuit.

Rodriguez is working on increasing her weight, which she said is eight to 10 pounds less than when she was at her peak during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

"I lost a lot of muscle when I stopped skating," she said.

In the men's 500, Fredricks edged Canadian Jamie Gregg by .001 seconds for third. On Friday, Fredricks was fifth in the same event.

"I had a few bobbles in the first turn, but things went well, a lot better than yesterday," he said. "I'm in a pretty good position. Now I've got two months and got to put two really good races together."

In the women's 500, Wang Beixing of China won in 37.02.

Jenny Wolf of Germany was second in 37.17 — 17 hundredths of a second off the world record she set in the event Friday. Lee Sang-Hwa of South Korea was third in 37.24.

American Elli Ochowicz was ninth.


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