Canada wins bronze in men's team pursuit at 2016 ISU World Single Distance Championships

KOLOMNA, Russia, February 12, 2016 – Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, Jordan Belchos of Toronto and Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, ON, led Canada to a bronze medal in the men's team pursuit, Friday, on the second day of the 2016 ISU World Single Distance Championships held in Kolomna, Russia.

Bloemen, Belchos and Donnelly skated the eight-lap event in 3:43.28 to finish ahead of the Italian team by one hundredth of a second and earn bronze. Last year, Bloemen, Belchos and Denny Morrison collected silver in this event.

“This is a medal at the World Championships, so you have to be happy with that,” said Bloemen. “We all agreed, however, that there are details we need to improve. For myself, I wasn't synching up as much as I would have liked in the corners. We could have gotten more out of it, but we have a bronze medal and we're happy about that.”

The Netherlands won the gold medal in 3:40.04. Norway, which skated alongside Canada in the first pairing, earned silver (3:41.26).

“Norway always has strong skaters, so we were expecting them to come up with a good time,”said Ben Donnelly, who is taking part in his first World Single Distance Championships.

This is Canada's second medal at this competition, as Bloemen won silver in Thursday's 10 000m.

Best career performances by Weidemann and De Haître
In the women's 5000m, Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa was fifth, which was the top Canadian performance in this distance since the 2009 World Championships. That year, Clara Hughes won silver and Kristina Groves came up with bronze.

By skating to a time of 7:08.35, Weidemann also beat her personal best by close to four seconds. Her previous personal best was 7:12.00, which she set at the World Cup stage in Salt Lake City, earlier this season.

“I'm super excited. It's been kind of surreal today,” said the 20-year-old skater. “Yesterday was pretty cool as well in the 3000m. But today is the cherry on top!”

“I was hoping to go out and skate out consistently. I started off a little bit slower and tried to build on it.”

Martina Sábliková of the Czech Republic won her second gold medal in as many days with a time of 6:51.09. Carien Kleibeuker (6:54.96) and Irene Schouten (6:55.93), both from the Netherlands, also made it to the podium. Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., was 12th in 7:29.17.

In the men's 1500m, Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, finished in sixth place with a time of 1:46.82, which is his best-ever performance in this distance at an international senior competition. Earlier this season, he was ninth at the World Cup stage held in Heerenveen.

“I executed my race plan as much as I could,”said De Haître. “I opened out strong, and the other skater in my pairing, Bart Swings from Belgium (who finished fourth) wasn't as close to me as I thought he was going to be. It gave me some confidence knowing that my race plan was on track. My race today is definitively a confidence builder going into Saturday's 1000m.”

Russia's Denis Yuskov (1:44.13) won gold, followed by Kjeld Nuis (1:45.66) and Thomas Krol (1:45.75) of the Netherlands. Skating in his first-ever World Championships, Stefan Waples (1:50.69) of Winnipeg, MB, was 18th.

In the women's 1000m, Kaylin Irvine (1:16.866) of Calgary was 15th.

American skaters Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson-Bergsma, who lead the World Cup standings this season, were upset by Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands, who skated to gold with a time of 1:14.73. Richardson-Bergsma (1:14.94) had to settle for second place while Bowe (1:15.01) was third.

On Saturday, Heather McLean and Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg, MB, as well as Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, will take part in both 500m races that are scheduled, as the top three skaters with the best overall times will end up on the podium. De Haître, Alexandre St-Jean of Québec City and Richard Maclennan of Sault Ste. Marie, ON, will skate in the men's 1000m, while Bloemen and Belchos will be competing in the men's 5000m. Ivanie Blondin, Josie Spence and Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, AB, will represent Canada in the women's team pursuit.

Broadcasted on CBC and cbc.ca
The performances of the Canadian team will be broadcasted on CBC Saturday, February 13th, from 4 pm to 5 pm (Eastern Time) and Sunday, February 14th, from 3 pm to 4 pm (Eastern Time).

Competitions will also be live streamed on cbc.ca Saturday, February 13th, from 6:50 am to 12:20 pm, and Sunday, February 14th, from 6:20 am to 10:20 am, all Eastern Time.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

Team Pursuit M
BRONZE: Canada – 3:43.28
(Ted-Jan Bloemen, Jordan Belchos & Ben Donnelly)

1500m M
6: Vincent De Haître - 1:46.82
18: Stefan Waples - 1:50.69

5000m W
5: Isabelle Weidemann - 7:08.35
12: Josie Spence - 7:29.17

1000m W
15: Kaylin Irvine - 1:16.866

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.

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