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Winnipeg's Shannon Rempel win 5,000 metres at long-track speedskating event

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CALGARY - Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg won the women's 5,000 metres while Edmonton's Jamie Gregg finished first in the men's 500 at the Intact 2009 Finale long-track speedskating competition Saturday.

Rempel won in seven minutes 12.16 seconds. Cathrine Grage of Denmark was second in 7:14.51 and Risa Takayama of Japan was third in 7:29.88.

"I am really glad it's over, 12 laps is a long way for me," said Rempel, who specializes in the 1,000. She lowered her previous fastest time in the 5,000 by more than 17 seconds.

"This was a big personal best for me. I wanted to go under 7:30, but I didn't know I would set this time. I am pretty happy."

Gregg won the men's 500 in 34.81 seconds. Germany's Nico Ihle was second in 35.04 and Netherlands' Remco Olde Heuvel finished third in 35.10.

"I had a good opener (9.75 seconds for first 100 metres) but I kind of slipped in the corner. I managed to get a lot of speed on the backstretch, but I didn't set up my last corner perfectly, so that wasn't great," said Gregg.

Gregg also placed third in the 1,000 metres behind winner Jan Bos (1:07.43) and Olde Heuvel (1:08.28), both of the Netherlands. Gregg finished in 1:08.33.

In the women's 500, Tamara Oudenaarden of St. Albert, Alta., skated to a personal best with a third-place finish in 38.86 seconds. Sayuri Osuga of Japan won in 38.44 while Thysje Oenema of the Netherlands was second in 38.66.

With his victory in the 500, Gregg qualified for a full season of World Cup competition and the world single distances championships in Richmond.

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