Vincent de Haître, women’s team pursuit narrowly miss podium at Obihiro World Cup

Vincent de Haître and the Canadian women's team pursuit both came within less than two tenths of a second of reaching the podium, Saturday, as they finished fourth in their respective races at the ISU long track World Cup in Obihiro, Japan.

Taking part in his first-ever World Cup 1,000m race, de Haître finished with a time of one minute, 9.90 seconds. The Cumberland, Ontario native, who turned 20 this past summer, was just 0.13 seconds behind bronze medalist Samuel Schwarz of Germany (1:09.77).

Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Kali Christ of Regina and Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., skated to a showing of 3:06.66 in the women’s team pursuit. The newly-assembled Canadian team missed the podium by 0.15 seconds, behind Germany’s bronze medal time of 3:06.51 in the six-lap race.

“Overall, it was a great race considering the new team we had today,” said Blondin. “Josie is a great addition to our team. She is a very strong teammate for this race. I'm looking forward to being on that podium in the near future!”

De Haître was 0.67 seconds back of the winner, 20-year-old Pavel Kuliznikov of Russia, whose time was 1:09.23. Kuliznikov has just returned from a two-year ban for a doping violation that occurred at the 2012 World Junior Championships, which were also held in Obihiro.

“I executed my race plan as best as I could, but there are still a few things I need to improve on for the next races,” said de Haître, who was nonetheless pleased with the result and his overall performance. “I’m glad that I was able to perform well in my first ever 1,000m at the World Cup.”

Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., placed seventh in 1:10.06, securing his 52nd top-10 finish in 64 career World Cup 1,000m races.

Both de Haître and Morrison will skate the 1,500m on Sunday.

Blondin was 16th in the women’s 1000m A in 1:18.09. Christ was 17th in 1:18.23.

In men’s team pursuit, Jordan Belchos of Markham, Ont., Stefan Waples of Winnipeg and Alec Janssens of Chilliwack, B.C., were ninth in 3:55.13 over eight laps.

Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie reached the podium of the men’s 1,000m B event with a 1:11.07 performance, good for third. Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg was 11th in 1:11.76.

In the women’s 1,000m B, Alexandra Ianculescu of Toronto placed 13th (1:21.12) and Heather McLean of Winnipeg 15th (1:21.43).

The World Cup wraps up Sunday with the final two 500m events, both 1,500m races and men’s and women’s mass starts.

For complete results of Saturday’s competition and a pairings list for Sunday’s events please visit http://live.isuresults.eu/2014-2015/obihiro/.

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: 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 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   
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Patrick Godbout
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Speed Skating Canada
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