Bloemen earns bronze in men’s 5000m at World Cup Final in Salt Lake City

Weidemann finishes fourth overall in long-distances for the 2018-19 season

SALT LAKE CITY, USA Ted-Jan Bloemen earned a bronze medal in the mens 5000m, coming up with his third top-3 result in less than two months, on the first day of the 2019 ISU World Cup Speed Skating Final in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bloemen finished third in Saturdays 5000m with a time of 6:09.645, behind two Dutch skaters who both delivered personal bests, Patrick Roest (6:03.706) and Marcel Bosker (6:08.904). The skater from Calgary, Alta. collected his second bronze medal on the international stage since the start of February, after finishing third at the World Cup in Hamar, Norway. He also came second in the 10,000m event held at the World Allround Championships.

“I’m a bit surprised I ended up on the podium today, but its a nice reward for a hard fight,said Bloemen. I wanted to put myself in a position to challenge for the podium, but in the end I wasnt able to hold on today, not as much as I would have liked. But I feel good about the end of my season and am setting myself up for a great next season.

Jordan Belchos of Toronto, Ont. skated to seventh place in Saturdays 5000m race with a personal best time of 6:13.395.

His third-place finish allowed Bloemen to move up to seventh place in the 2018-19 overall standings in long distances (5000m/10,000m) on the World Cup circuit with 249 points. Belchos ended up ninth overall (235 points), his career best ranking. Bloemen, who finished first overall in long distances last season, passed his title on to Russias Alexander Rumyantsev, who finished the season with 322 points after taking fourth place in Saturdays race with a personal best time of 6:10.785.

In the ladies’ 3000m, Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, Ont.) came in fourth by skating a personal best of 3:55.582, a little over a second away from a podium finish as Russias Natalia Voronina came in third with a time of 3:54.064. Czech skater Martina Sablikova, who skated in the final pair with Weidemann, won the race while also improving on the world record time she already owned, bringing it down to 3:52.030.

“I’m happy with a personal best time, but its never fun to come in fourth,said Weidemann. I wanted to go out today and skate aggressively, with a sense of having nothing to lose. I feel like Ive accomplished that.

Weidemann, who won two medals in the 3000m this World Cup season, finished fourth in the overall standings for the long-distance discipline on the ladies side with 322 points. This is her career best ranking at 23 years of age. Sablikova was crowned overall champion in the longer distances with 370 points.

I made a lot of big improvements this season and Im excited to go into the off-season and start working towards next year,said Weidemann. We have two Canadian women in the top-5 overall, thats pretty incredible.

Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.) finished sixth in Saturdays 3000m, also by setting a new personal best which now stands at 3:59.002 to end up fifth overall in the discipline with 272 points. This is the second year in a row that Blondin ends with a top-5 result overall, after finishing second last season in the longer distances.

In the first of two 500m events scheduled for the weekend, Heather McLean (Winnipeg, Man.) and Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.) both earned top-10 results. McLean was 8th with a new personal best of 37.275. Japans Nao Kodaira won the race in 36.474, also a new personal best.

For his part, Dubreuil finished 10th in 37.907. Russias Pavel Kulizhnikov, the overall 500m leader on the mens side, set a new world record on his way to winning Saturdays race in 33.616. McLean and Dubreuil, who kicked off the weekend sitting 11th and 9th in the overall 500m standings, will have another chance to move up with a second race in the same distance set for Sunday.

The two-day competition ends on Sunday with 1500m and mass start races also scheduled.

CBC Sports and Radio-Canada will be live streaming Sunday’s races as of 15:30 EST. A detailed event schedule and live results can be found on the ISU Results Portal.