Best career result in 1000m for Alexandre St-Jean at 2016 ISU World Single Distance Championships

KOLOMNA, Russia, February 13, 2016 – A fifth-place finish in the 5000m for Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary and a sixth-place result in the men's 1000m for Alexandre St-Jean of Quebec City were the day's highlights for the Canadian team, Saturday, at the 2016 ISU World Single Distance Championships presently taking place in Kolomna, Russia.

In the men's 1000m, Alexandre St-Jean came up with his best-ever result by earning a sixth-place finish, which he collected thanks to a time of 1:09.12. It was also the top Canadian performance in that distance for the day. St-Jean was seventh at the World Cup stage held in Stavanger, Norway.

“I'm very happy about my race. It's nice to be good at the right moment by coming up with my best-ever performance at the World Championships,” said St-Jean.

“My race plan was to go for a fast start and get a quick first lap. But my last lap was a bit tough, although it still allowed me to finish sixth.”

Russian skaters Pavel Kulizhnikov (1:08.33) and Denis Yuskov (1:08.43) finished first and second. Kjeld Nuis (1:08.47) of the Netherlands collected bronze.

Vincent De Haître (1:09.28) of Cumberland, ON, was eighth after dealing with a virus overnight. Richard Maclennan (1:10.70) of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, was 21st.

“I can't be too disappointed. I did what I came here to do, which was to finish among the top 8 at minimum in the 1000m,” said De Haître. “After last night, my energy level was low today. I did what I could.”

A two-time bronze medalist in the 5000m event on the World Cup circuit this season, Ted-Jan Bloemen skated to a time of 6:18.81 to take fifth place in that distance, Saturday, at the World Championships.

Dutch skaters Sven Kramer (6:10.31) and Jorrit Bergsma (6:10.66) took hold of the first two spots, followed by Norway's Sverre Lunde Pederson (6:15.08). Jordan Belchos (6:25.86) of Toronto was 11th.

“I have mixed feelings. It was a pretty good effort but I've been through a lot of hard races over the last two days,” pointed out Bloemen. “I'm disappointed with my races at this competition. I think I have more to give and I didn't show that this weekend. I think this is fair to conclude that this event came a little bit too early for me after my leg injury.”

Heather McLean ninth in the 500m
In the women's 500m, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, finished ninth in combined standings, which included times from both races held during the day.

After ending up fifth in the first 500m with a time of 37.90, McLean was 10th in 28.27 in the second race for a combined time of 76.17.

“I'm happy with how my first race went. I was able to achieve what I wanted to with my technical points,” said Heather McLean. “My second race wasn't as good, but I'm still happy with my result overall. It was a very good learning experience. In my first race, for instance, I was paired with a Russian and the oval was so noisy. I think just skating in that kind of atmosphere allowed me to learn a lot, and hopefully I can take that to my next competition.”

South Korea's Sang-Hwa Lee, American skater Brittany Bowe and China's Hong Zhang respectively won gold, silver and bronze. Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, was 16th while Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was 23rd.

In the women's team pursuit, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C. and Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, AB, finished in sixth place with a time of 3:04.92.

The Netherlands (2:58.12) won gold, followed by Japan (2:58.31) and Russia (3:02.61).

“I think it was really good race,” said Ivanie Blondin. “The thing we really wanted to focus on at the beginning of the race was to stay together as a team and we proved that we were able to do that. Each and every one of us pushed each other during the race and this showed that we have a strong team. Unfortunately, it didn't show in the ranking but at the same time, we are really looking forward to the next couple of years and to continue building towards the next Olympics.”

On Sunday, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, William Dutton of Humboldt, SK, and Gilmore Junio of Calgary will skate in the two scheduled 500m races, with medals going to the top three skaters in cumulative standings. Kali Christ of Regina, SK, Brianne Tutt of Aidrie, AB, and Josie Spence will be taking part in the women's 1500m, while Ivanie Blondin and Heather McLean on the women's side, as well as Jordan Belchos and Stefan Waples of Winnipeg on the men's side, will be competing in the mass start events.

Broadcasted on CBC and cbc.ca
The performances of the Canadian team will be broadcasted on CBC Saturday, February 13th, from 3 pm to 4 pm (Eastern Time) and Sunday, February 14th, from 3 pm to 4 pm (Eastern Time).

Competitions will also be live streamed on cbc.ca Sunday, February 14th, from 6:20 am to 10:20 am, all Eastern Time.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

5000m M
5. Ted-Jan Bloemen - 6:18.81
11. Jordan Belchos - 6:25.86

1000m M
6. Alexandre St-Jean – 1:09.12
8. Vincent De Haître – 1:09.28
21. Richard Maclennan – 1:10.70

Team Pursuit W
6. Canada – 3:04.92
(Ivanie Blondin, Josie Spence, Brianne Tutt)

500m W
9. Heather McLean (37.90 (5) + 38.27 (10)) – 76.17
16. Marsha Hudey (38.44 (15) + 38.58 (17)) – 77.02
23. Shannon Rempel (39.09 (21) + 39.41 (23)) – 78.50

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.
   
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, City of Montreal, Calgary Olympic Oval and WinSport Canada.

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