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Russia’s Klevchenya takes overall lead

February 1, 1997

HAMAR, Norway (AP) _ Sergey Klevchenya of Norway took a narrow lead over local favorite Roger Strom after Saturday’s opening races in the World Sprint Speedskating Championships.

Competing in the Viking Ship Hall where he won an Olympic silver medal in 1994, Klevchenya took the opening 500-meter race in 36.18 seconds. Strom was just one hundredth of a second back.

Klevchenya, who was sixth in the 1,000, has 73,100 points going into Sunday’s final races. Strom has 73,165 and third-placed Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan 73,470.

Casey Fitzrandolph of the United States, who placed third in the 1,000 won by Manabu Horii of Japan, was fourth overall with 73,495 points.

Franziska Schenk of Germany swept the women’s 500 and 1,000 for a big lead over Ruihong Xue of China. Schenk has 79,650 points; Xue has 80,735.

Christine Witty is fifth overall followed by fellow American Becky Sundstrom, the former world junior champion.

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