Canada wins silver in men's team sprint at ISU World Cup Long Track stage in the Netherlands

Heerenveen, Netherlands, December 10, 2016 – Laurent Dubreuil, Christopher Fiola and Vincent de Haître won a silver medal in the men's team sprint, Saturday, at the ISU World Cup Long Track Speed Skating stage held until Sunday in Heerenveen, Netherlands, while Ivanie Blondin had to settle for 10th place in the women's mass start.
 
Dubreuil, Fiola and de Haître therefore stepped onto the podium for the second time in as many opportunities since the start of this season in the team sprint event, thanks to a time of 1:20.29. That same trio won gold at the World Cup stage held in Nagano.
 
Saturday, the United States (1:19.97) came up with gold while Poland (1:20.58) collected bronze.
 
“The race was very similar to the one where we won gold earlier this season,” said Laurent Dubreuil. “Today, we even were three tenths of a second faster. However, there was a greater number of teams today than there was for the first race of the season. The level was higher.”

“But it wasn't that big of a difference. I think we can go faster with the same group of guys. There's no shame in finishing second. We moved up in overall standings. Being first after two of the three races scheduled this year, it's a positive and I hope we can lift the trophy at the end of the season.”
 
De Haître was the third and last Canadian skater in the team sprint. Thirty minutes earlier, he tied his best ever result in a 1500m at the international level by coming up with sixth place. He also posted his best time in that distance so far in this World Cup season, 1:46.60.
 
“We battled through circumstances that were not favouring us to come up with a good performance in the team sprint. Personally, I had just finished a 1500m race and it was very tough,” pointed out de Haître.
 
“I'm happy with my result in the 1500m,” added the skater who also was sixth in the first 1500m of the World Cup season, in Harbin, China, and sixth in that distance at last spring's World Single Distance Championships. “I executed my race as well as I possibly could. I also went back to what I was doing early on in the season in terms of my race plan, and we think that it may be the best strategy so far. I had more energy than I expected at the end and I was a little bit surprised. It's a confidence boost for the following races.”
 
Dutch skaters Kjeld Nuis (1:45.11) and Patrick Roest (1:46.42) respectively won gold and bronze in the men's 1500m, while Russia's Denis Yuskov (1:45.41) came up with silver.
 
In the women's 1500m, Brianne Tutt (2:00.17) of Airdrie, AB, was the top Canadian with a 16th-place finish. Isabelle Weidemann (2:00.18) of Ottawa, ON, followed in 17th place.
 
Ivanie Blondin took 10th spot in mass start
In the women's mass start, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa was 10th, therefore stopping at nine her series of consecutive podium finishes in that discipline.
 
South Korea's Bo-Reum Kim won gold. She was followed by Dutch skater Irene Schouten and Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida. Kim's win allowed her to take first place in overall World Cup standings in the mass start event, ahead of Ivanie Blondin.
 
“I'm really upset. It's not fun losing. It's one of the things I hate most in life. I'm a really competitive person. It's obviously hard for me and I struggle a lot with that,” said Blondin, whose last absence from the podium in the mass start event dates back to the spring of 2015, at the World Cup Final.

“There is a little consolation in knowing that I'm the one that has the biggest target on my back, that I'm the one the other skaters are gunning for. For the future, I need to be more smart about it and not be as stubborn about leading all the time, about always wanting to close the gap, like I did today, which leads to me burying myself out. I need to be more patient.”
 
In the men's mass start, Christopher Fiola finished in 16th and last place. American skater Joey Mantia won the race, followed by South Korea's Seung-Hoon Lee and Dutch skater Evert Hoolwerf.
 
In the women's team sprint, Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, and Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, AB, were fourth with a time of 1:29.54.
 
Japan (1:27.55), Russia (1:28.68) and the Netherlands (1:28.80) ended up on the podium, in that order.

“That race wasn’t a reflection of our potential,” said Irvine. “This was the first race we’ve done and it’s the third time we skated together overall.”
 
“We have a couple of things to work on, but I think there is no where to go but up from here,” said McLean.
 
The 1000m, women's 5000m and men's 10 000m are slated for Sunday.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

Team Sprint M
SILVER-Canada (1:20.29)
(Laurent Dubreuil, Christopher Fiola, Vincent de Haître)

1500m (A) M
6. Vincent de Haître (1:46.60)

Mass Start W
10. Ivanie Blondin

Mass Start M
16. Christopher Fiola

Team Sprint W
4. Canada (1:29.54)
(Marsha Hudey, Heather mcLean, Kaylin Irvine)

1500m (A) W
16. Brianne Tutt (2:00.17)
17. Isabelle Weidemann (2:00.18)

1500m (B) M
7. Denny Morrison (1:49.40)
 
More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's website 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 sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Kerry Dankers
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Patrick Godbout
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