Gilmore Junio, Alexandre St-Jean & Vincent De Haître win silver in team sprint, Heather McLean races to bronze in the 500m at the World Cup Final

Heerenveen, Netherlands, March 12, 2016 – Gilmore Junio of Calgary, AB, Alexandre St-Jean of Quebec City, QC, and Vincent de Haître of Cumberland, ON won silver in the team sprint event while Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB collected her third bronze medal of the season in the 500m, Saturday, on the second day of the World Cup Final taking place until Sunday in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

In an extremely close finish, Junio, St-Jean and De Haître finished with silver in a time of one minute 20.41 seconds, only one hundredth of a second behind the Dutch team, which won with a time of 1:20.40. The Russian team was third in 1:20.86.

“It was a great race, but we were hoping for a bit better to make up points in the overall standings. Alex and Vince stepped it up after their 1000m races, so I have to give them credit for skating so well in their second race for the day,” said Junio, who came up with his second medal of this weekend's competition after picking up a bronze in Friday's 500m. “There’s a bit of chatter as to where I’ll end up in the final 500m race tomorrow, but I’m going to treat it as just another race.”

“We worked well as a team and went out and did what we knew we could. We communicate exactly what we want to do before the race and then focus on our individual tasks during the race,” explained De Haître, who led the last of the three laps.

“Vince and I had tough 1000m races prior to the team sprint, but we were ready to give it everything we had. We will do even better next season!” said St-Jean.

This final result of the season in team sprint places the Canadian team (Junio, St-Jean, De Haître, William Dutton and Laurent Dubreuil) third in overall World Cup ranking with 320 points, behind the Netherlands (390) and Russia (334).

“Pretty cool way to end the year with a plate trophy. It’s a good reward after our unofficial world record and all of our hard work. We are looking to win the cup and overall title next year,” said Dutton, a member of the team sprint who didn’t race on Saturday, but was part of the team who skated the record time.

McLean again in bronze, Bloemen 4th
In the women’s 500m, McLean finished third with a time of 38.07 seconds in the final race of the 2015-16 World Cup season in this distance. Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson, both from the United States, were the top two finishers with times of 37.64 and 37.88 respectively.

McLean moves up one spot in the overall world cup ranking to conclude the season in 6th place with 567 points. Richardson is the World Cup Champion with 848 points.

“I’m really happy! There was such a big crowd today and I wanted to enjoy my last race in this environment. My parents were here to watch and it felt great that they got to see me on the podium,” said McLean, who had finished sixth in Friday's 500m. “I focused on fixing a small technical point from my race yesterday and it is what made the difference today. I’m very happy about my race outcome!”

In the men’s 5000m, Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, AB finished 4th with a personal best time at sea level of six minutes 16.70 seconds, a little less than four tenths of a second shy of the podium behind Sverre Lunde Pederson of Norway. Sven Kramer and Jorrit Bergsma, both of the Netherlands, finished first and second with times of 6:11.44 and 6:12.74 respectively.

“It was my best race since my injury in the fall. My race was consistent and technically good. It’s taken time, getting stronger, healing and finding my rhythm again to have a good race,” explained Bloemen who won bronze at the previous World Cup in Stavanger, Norway. “I would have loved to be on the podium, but Pederson was just a little better today.

“One race made my year. I made important steps to compete against the best in the world this year and I want to keep that going for the next two years,” said Bloemen, referring to his world record performance in the 10 000m in November and his three individual World Cup medals.

Bloemen concludes the season 4th overall in the World Cup rankings with 330 points, behind Kramer (530), Bergsma (530) and Pederson (369). Kramer was crowned World Cup Champion after the tie in points, based on being the winner of the final race. Jordan Belchos of Toronto, ON finished ninth on Saturday with a time of 6:26.99, which placed him 12th in the overall World Cup standings with 144 points.

In the men’s 1000m, St-Jean finished 9th in a time of 1:09.86 and De Haître finished 11thwith a time of 1:10.01, placing them respectively 11th (197 pts) and 9th (249) in the overall World Cup standings. Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands was named World Cup Champion with 630 points.

Racing continues on Sunday for the final day of competition with Junio, St-Jean, Dutton, Dubreuil and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix in the 500m, De Haître in the 1500m and Belchos, Robert Watson and Ivanie Blondin in the mass start events.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m (2) W
BRONZE: Heather McLean (38.07)

Final ranking
6. Heather McLean
15. Marsha Hudey
27. Kaylin Irvine
30. Shannon Rempel
42. Anastasia Bucsis
47. Kali Christ

Team Pursuit M
SILVER: Canada
(Gilmore Junio, Alexandre St-Jean, Vincent De Haître)

Final ranking
3. Canada
(Gilmore Junio, Alexandre St-Jean, Vincent De Haître, Laurent Dubreuil, William Dutton)

5000m M
4. Ted-Jan Bloemen (6:16.70)
9. Jordan Belchos (6:26.99)

Final ranking
4. Ted-Jan Bloemen
12. Jordan Belchos
39. Stefan Waples
45. Ben Donnelly

1000m M
9. Alexandre St-Jean (1:09.86)
11. Vincent De Haître (1:10.01)

Final ranking
9. Vincent De Haître
11. Alexandre St-Jean
26. Gilmore Junio
27. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix
29. Richard Maclennan
46. Laurent Dubreuil
51. William Dutton

1500m W
Final ranking
19. Kali Christ
28. Ivanie Blondin
34. Brianne Tutt
41. Josie Spence
46. Isabelle Weidemann

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.

- 30 -

For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC