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    Monday, December 8, 1997

    Overland top Canadian

     HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (CP) -- Gianni Romme of the Netherlands set a world record in the men's 5,000 metres Sunday while Cindy Overland of Kitchener, Ont., was the top Canadian at a World Cup long track speed skating competition.
     Romme clocked 6:30.63 eclipsing triple Olympic champion Johann Olav Koss' standard of 6:34.96 set by the Norwegian at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. Bob de Jong, also of the Netherlands, was second in 6:33.58 and Kjell Storelid of Norway third in 6:35.25.
     In second seed racing, Neal Marshall of Coquitlam, B.C., was 11th, Steve Elm of Calgary 13th and Kevin Marshall of Coquitlam, 18th.
     In the women's 1,500, six-time world champion Gunda Niemann of Germany clocked a track record 1:58.23 just 0.36 seconds off the world mark set by Catriona Le May Doan of Saskatoon last weekend at a Canada-U.S. meet in Calgary. Claudia Pechstein of Germany was second in 1:59.93 and Olympic champion Emese Hunyady of Austria third in 2:00.38.
     In second seed, Overland, who set a Canadian record Saturday in the 3,000, clocked another personal best placing fifth in 2:04.14. Ingrid Liepa of Ottawa was 12th and Susan Massitti of Calgary 18th.
     "It's important for me to have a strong start to the season," said Overland, 21, whose brother Kevin Overland holds the world record in the 1,500. "My goal is to get a top-16 at the Olympics."