Another Triple Podium Day for Canada at World Cup Speed Skating

 

Silver medals added to the tally by Laurent Dubreuil, Ivanie Blondin and the Men’s Team Pursuit

TOMASZÓW MAZOWIECKI, POLAND – On the final day of competition at the ISU World Cup in Poland, the Canadian long track team skated to three silver medals. Sunday’s haul of hardware was earned by Laurent Dubreuil in the second men’s 500m, Ivanie Blondin in the women’s mass start, and the men’s team pursuit squad.

Dubreuil upgraded the colour of his medal in the second men’s 500m of the weekend. After capturing bronze on Friday, the native of Lévis, QC found himself in the final pair of the distance. He put forth a time of 34.734, besting the entire field except for Japan’s Tatsuya Shinhama (34.699). Shinhama’s teammate Wataru Morishige rounded out the podium with a clocking of 34.746.

The medal marks Dubreuil’s fifth consecutive podium finish in the 500m distance on the international stage. After two races this season, Dubreuil is ranked second in the World Cup standings, behind Shinhama. 

Skating in the women’s mass start, Blondin spent most of the race jostling for position towards the front of the main pack. With three laps remaining, her teammate Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, QC) broke out of the field to increase the pace but was unable to hang on in the final stretch. 

In a sprint towards the finish in the last lap, Ottawa native Blondin outpaced Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy to the line to capture the silver medal. Dutch skater Irene Schouten maintained her lead through the final 400m to earn gold with a time of 8:25.210. 

The Canadian trio of Jordan Belchos, Ted-Jan Bloemen and Connor Howe skated in the second last pair of the men’s team pursuit, the final event of the World Cup. The Dutch squad had previously set a mark to beat of 3:44.567. While the Canadians had a time advantage of over two seconds heading into the final two laps, the skaters lost steam towards the end of the race and crossed the line in 3:45.763. 

Belchos (Toronto, ON), Bloemen (Calgary, AB) and Howe (Canmore, AB) then had to sit and wait for the results of the final pair. Neither team in that race was able to outpace the Canadians, and the Japanese settled for bronze with a time of 3:45.817. The silver medal equals the team’s best result on the World Cup circuit last season.

In other individual results at the Arena Lodowa on Sunday, Dubreuil and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbooke, QC) cracked the top ten in the men’s 1000m, finishing fifth and ninth respectively. Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON) won the Division B race of the women’s 1500m and will advance to the main group at the next event.

Sunday’s racing marked a successful end to the World Cup in Poland for the Canadian team, with a total of seven medals earned over three days of competition. The skaters will now travel to Stavanger, Norway for the next World Cup, taking place November 19-21, where they will continue to amass valuable points towards overall ranking and Olympic qualification. 

QUOTES

"The mass start went really well. Today was a very tough day physically with three races, but I’m glad I pulled through and made it happen in the end! There was lots of action going on in the middle of the race and I had to fight to keep in a good position. But that’s where I’m at my best, so I was right in my element. I made a few mistakes in the final lap, but in the end I am happy with silver and my ability to keep the fire alive!"

- Ivanie Blondin

"I am very happy with my day today and my first World Cup overall. To be on the podium two times in two 500m races is not easy with the depth of this field. To also be capable of achieving a fifth place finish in the 1000m, only an hour and a half after my 500m, tells me that my training is working. I will need to be equally sharp next week if I want to continue winning medals."

- Laurent Dubreuil

"We came into the team pursuit pretty confident because of how strong we were last year, as well as the work that we’ve done together since then. Connor and Ted had great individual performance this weekend, which was also motivating for me coming into today’s race. We skated really well and weren’t far off from putting it all together; I think we are absolutely capable of winning when we do."

- Jordan Belchos

FULL CANADIAN RESULTS

Men’s 500m (2)

Laurent Dubreuil – 2nd

Gilmore Junio – 18th

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix – 20th

Jacob Graham – 16th (Div. B)

Women’s 1500m

Ivanie Blondin – 11th

Isabelle Weidemann – 1st (Div. B)

Maddison Pearman – 6th (Div. B)

Alexa Scott – 8th (Div. B)

Abigail McCluskey – 12th (Div. B)

Men’s 1000m

Laurent Dubreuil – 5th

Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 9th

Vincent de Haitre – 14th

Connor Howe – 5th (Div. B)

Tyson Langelaar – 13th (Div. B)

Women’s Mass Start

Ivanie Blondin – 2nd

Valérie Maltais – 13th

Men's Team Pursuit

Jordan Belchos, Ted-Jan Bloemen, Connor Howe – 2nd