Richard MacLennan earns best-ever result at Seoul ISU Long Track Speed Skating World Cup

Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., came up with his best-ever placing in a 1000m at the ISU long track speed skating World Cup, Saturday, when he finished 10th in that distance in Seoul, South Korea.

MacLennan registered a time of one minute 11.09 seconds, behind winner Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia (1:09.56). It was the 23-year-old Canadian's first top-10 result in a 1000m World Cup event since he started skating on the circuit in 2009.

In his 10 previous World Cup races in that distance, his best result in a division A race had been a 13th-place showing at the Moscow World Cup, on January 30, 2011.

MacLennan was the top Canadian in Saturday's 1000m men's race, as Canada's male star Denny Morrison had some tough luck. The athlete from Fort St. John, B.C., who won the Olympic silver medal in the 1000m race in Sochi, last February, was disqualified following a mishap in the crossover, as he was called for obstructing Hein Otterspeer of the Netherlands in their pairing. 

Vincent de Haitre was 19th in the same race with a time of 1:12.20, after coming up with a fourth-place showing in his World Cup 1,000m debut last week in Obihiro, Japan. Tyler Derraugh, of Winnipeg, was fourth in men’s B group 1,000m.

In other races Saturday, Jordan Belchos of Markham, Ont., was 12th in the men’s 10,000m. In his debut for the Canadian national team, Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary finished third in the men’s 10,000m B race.

On the women's side, Kali Christ of Regina finished 11th in the 1,500m in 2:01.33.

Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., put in the top performance among four Canadian women in the 500m B, placing sixth. Edmonton’s Tamara Oudenaarden was ninth, Winnipeg’s Heather McLean 10th and Toronto’s Alexandra Ianculescu 13th.

In the women’s 1,500m B race, Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., was ninth, Kate Hanly of Calgary 12th and Lauren McGuire of Ottawa 15th.

Ivanie Blondin goes for third straight podium
Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa will go for her third-straight podium finish on the World Cup circuit, Sunday in Seoul, as well as try for back-to-back victories in the mass start.

Blondin won her first World Cup gold medal in the season-opening mass start, one week ago, in Obihiro, Japan. She followed that with a bronze medal performance in the women’s 5000m on Friday, in Seoul. The 24-year-old will also race the 1000m Sunday.

“It felt pretty good to relax (Saturday) in order to reset and go into Sunday fully recharged,” she said. “Sunday will be busy for me, but I believe I can still manage to have great races. I'm really looking forward to the mass start. I know I have a target on my back now, but I've never been one to back down from a challenge.”

Saturday’s complete results and Sunday’s draw list are available through Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.

For live streaming of A group races at Seoul World Cup visit http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/index.html.

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 13,000 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, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

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