Canadian men win silver in team sprint event to clinch overall title at ISU World Cup Long Track Speed Skating Final

Stavanger, Norway, March 12, 2017 – The Canadian men skated to a silver medal in the team sprint held Sunday, ensuring them the overall 2016-2017 World Cup title in that event, while Ivanie Blondin raced to eighth place in the women's mass start to finish third in overall World Cup ranking for the season on the last day of the ISU World Cup Long Track Speed Skating Final.

The men’s team sprint comprised of Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC and Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, QC, won the silver medal in a time of one minute and 20.91 seconds. The team, which also includes Christopher Fiola of Montreal, QC, who competed in two of the fall World Cup stages and won a gold medal performance in Nagano, Japan, last November, therefore won the overall World Cup title.

“We knew we would maintain our overall ranking with the way the competition worked out. We surprised ourselves a bit with the second place finish. Our major objective was to see what we could do when the cards were against us. We had a nice smooth race, and we now have an overall victory and a silver medal to show for it, and we are all really happy with that,” said De Haître.

The Dutch (1:20.55) won gold with Germany (1:21.06) in bronze, resulting in the overall standings with the Netherlands finishing second and the German team in third.

Ivanie Blondin third overall in women's mass start
In the women’s mass start event, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, ON, skated to eighth place on Sunday, but kept her feet on the podium in overall World Cup standings. She ended up third with 344 points, behind Bo-Reum Kim (460) of South Korea and Francesca Lollibrigida (364) of Italy.

“I am not pleased with the overall result. Sport can be frustrating at times when you are not posting the results you know you are capable of. A positive to take away is that it will fuel my training this summer leading into the Olympic year,” said Blondin, who was World Champion and second overall in the mass start last season.

Irene Schouten of the Netherlands won gold on Sunday, while silver went to Kim and bronze was won by Lollibrigida.

A near podium miss for Marsha Hudey
In the second 500m of the competition, Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, raced to a fourth place finish in 38.10 seconds on Sunday. With this race, she improved her overall ranking from fifth to fourth. Noa Kodaira (37.24) of Japan was first in Sunday's race, second was Karolina Erbanova (37.72) of Kazakhstan and third place went to Kamiya Erina (38.06) of Japan. Kodaira took the overall title, with teammates Maki Tsuji and Erina in second and third respectively.

On the men’s side, Laurent Dubreuil was fifth (34.83) in the second 500m of the competition. He finishes the season with a jump up to ninth place in overall standings.

“I think overall it was my best 500m of the season. I was really excited because when I was done, my time was faster than the winner yesterday. Some days a great race gives you a medal, some days not, but that was definitely a great race on my part and a good way to end the season,” said Dubreuil.

The podium was a Dutch sweep with Dai Dai Ntab (34.72) first, Ronald Mulder (34.77) second and Jan Smeekens (34.81) in third place. In overall standings, Ntab (585) was first and Mulder (541) third, split by Ruslan Murashkov (557) of Russia in second.

In the men’s 1500m, Vincent De Haître raced his fourth race of the competition to place seventh in a time of 1:47.21, ranking him 10th in World Cup overall standings in that distance.

“The 1500 went pretty much as expected. I was really tired from yesterday, but I can’t be too disappointed with my overall classification as I’m still in the top-10 and I’m happy with that,” said De Haître.

Dutch skater Kjeld Nuis (1:45.00) was first with countryman Patrick Roost (1:46.28) second, while Sverre Lunde Pedersen (1:46.61) of Norway was third. Nuis (455) and Roost (345) placed first and third respectively in the overall World Cup standings, with Denis Yuskov (430) of Russia second.

Olivier Jean finished 10th in the men's mass start with Jordan Belchos of Toronto, ON, placing in 13th position. Belchos maintained his overall ranking of 14th, while Jean climbed four positions in the standings to end up in 18th. Seung-Hoon Lee of South Korea, Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands and Bart Swings of Belgium stood one, two, three on Sunday's podium. Lee (412) was crowned the overall champion with Bergsma (270) in third and Andrea Giovannini (280) of Italy in second between them.

Ted-Jan Bloemen accepts Oscar Mathisen award
On the last day of competition of the season, Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, AB, received the Oscar Mathisen Award for the 2015-2016 season, awarded annually since 1959 to a speed skating athlete on the international scene for his or her outstanding performance.

Bloemen's performance last season, including a new world record in the 10 000m, allows him to join Canadians Gaetan Boucher, Jeremy Wotherspoon, Cindy Klassen and Christine Nesbitt to receive this award, which is handed out to skaters of different nationalities.

Bloemen made a speech recalling the race of a lifetime and graciously thanked his wife Marlinde, the Canadian team as a whole and his coach Bart Schouten.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
Team Sprint M
2. Canada (1:20,91)
(Laurent Dubreuil, Vincent De Haître, Olivier Jean)
Final Ranking: 1

500m (2) W
4. Marsha Hudey (38,10)
Final Ranking: 4

500m (2) M
5. Laurent Dubreuil (34,83)
Final Ranking: 9

1500m M
7. Vincent De Haître (1:47,21)
Final Ranking: 10

Mass Start W
8. Ivanie Blondin
Final Ranking: 3

Mass Start M
10. Olivier Jean
Final Ranking : 18
13. Jordan Belchos
Final Ranking: 14

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 sponsors 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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For information:
Patrick Godbout
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Kerry Dankers
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