Ted-Jan Bloemen wins history-making silver medal in 10 000m at ISU World Single Distance Long Track Championships

KOLOMNA, Russia, February 11, 2016 – Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary came up on Thursday with the silver medal in the men's 10 000m, Canada's first-ever in that distance at a Long Track Speed Skating World Championship event, and therefore kicked off in high fashion the ISU World Single Distance Championships which will take place until Sunday in Kolomna, Russia.

Skating in the next-to-last pairing, Ted-Jan Bloemen clocked a time of 12 minutes and 59.69 seconds, therefore beating the track record in Kolomna, at least temporarily. Sven Kramer of the Netherlands, who was in the last pairing, ended up being the fastest skater on the day with a time of 12:56.77. Erik Jan Kooiman, also from the Netherlands, finished third in 13:02.15.

“It was a really hard race today. It was a struggle for me,” said Ted-Jan Bloemen, who still holds the world record in this distance with a time of 12:36.30, which he set at the World Cup stage held in Salt Lake City last November.

“I couldn't really find my rythmn like I was able to earlier this season, like in Salt Lake City,” added Bloemen. “I was fighting against fatigue and my lap times. But I was really happy when I saw my time at the finish line. I was 10 seconds faster that I've ever been before on a track at sea level!”

Bloemen had to spend a period of almost two months away from competition because of a leg injury. He returned to action two weeks ago, and won a bronze medal in the 5000m at the World Cup stage held in Stavanger, Norway.

“I was able to push hard until the end and (the injury) didn't bother me,” said Bloemen, who finished sixth in the same event last year. “I think indirectly, it affected me a little bit because I didn't prepare for the race the way I wanted to. I had to put all my energy into healing from the wound. I think that's why it was a little bit harder to find my race rhythmn today.”

“But I'm really happy to perform again at this level and to be on the podium at the World Championships. I'm really happy with this medal and I hope this will have a positive effect on the rest of the team.”

His teammate Jordan Belchos, of Toronto, finished fifth in Thursday's 10 000m race with a time of 13:10.99. He therefore came up with his best finish ever at a senior international competition. His previous best finish so far had been ninth place on the World Cup circuit and 11th place at the World Single Distance Championships.

“It's almost the same time I came up with in Calgary and in Salt Lake City, which is pretty good for a track like this,” pointed out Jordan Belchos.“I just focused on my pace, on staying relaxed and on always being in control. With about seven laps to go, up to that point I was just cruising and I felt good, so I told myself it was time to give it my all.”

Weidemann the top Canadian in the women's 3000m
In the women's 3000m, Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa, who is taking part in her first career World Single Distance Championships, was the top Canadian with a 10th-place finish (4:09.72).

Czech skater Martina Sábliková won gold (4:03.05), while Dutch skaters Ireen Wüst (4:03.13) and Antoinette de Jong (4:04.25) respectively earned silver and bronze.

“I'm very happy with my race today. A 10th-place finish is pretty good for me,” said Isabelle Wiedemann who, at age 20, has recently collected the first top-10 result of her career on the senior international scene, regardless of the distance. “Things have gone pretty well at practice this week and I was feeling O.K. going in, so I was expecting to come up with a decent one.”

Ivanie Blondin, of Ottawa, was 17th in 4:15.52.

“Obviously, it wasn't my best performance today,” said Blondin, who was seventh in last year's race at the same competition. “Sometime races don't go the way you want them to. For me now, it's a matter of hitting the reset button for the mass start and focus my energy on that.”

On Friday, Weidemann and Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., will be skating in the women's 5000m. Spence will skate in that distance instead of Blondin, who will focus on preparing for Sunday's mass start. Also Friday, Kaylin Irvine of Calgary will be taking part in the women's 1000m, while Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, and Ben Donnelly will do so in the 1500m. Donnelly, Bloemen and Belchos will also race in the men'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 Friday, February 12th, from 9 am to 1:20 pm, 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

10,000m M
SILVER: Ted-Jan Bloemen: 12:59.69
5. Jordan Belchos: 13:10.99

3000m W
10. Isabelle Weidemann: 4:09.72
17. Ivanie Blondin: 4:15.52

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 sponsor 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
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
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Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca  
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