Blondin & Christ top Canadians at World Cup in Germany

Ivanie Blondin and Kali Christ top Canadians at World Cup in Germany

INZELL, Germany
- Ivanie Blondin and Kali Christ were the top Canadians today placing fifth and seventh in their respective races at the Essent ISU World Cup #7 in Inzell, Germany. Today’s races featured the women’s 1,500 metres and mass start and men’s 5,000 metres. Sunday’s races will include the men’s 1,500 metres and mass start, and women’s 3,000 metres.

Ivanie Blondin, of Ottawa, was fifth in the mass start. Bo-Reum Kim of Korean won the gold medal, with Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida taking silver and Mariska Huisman of the Netherlands claiming the bronze medal. Skaters are ranked on a point system from mid-race sprints and final time.

“It was pretty tactical race especially when you don't have teammates that are helping you,” said Blondin. “At one point we formed a pack, and there wasn't anyone that had a teammate. We all helped each other out. It was almost like a team pursuit.”

Regina’s Kali Christ led Canadian women in the 1,500 metres, earning her best ranking and time at a World Cup this season. She stopped the clock in one minute and 58.01 seconds to take seventh place. Winnipeggers Brittany Schussler and Cindy Klassen were 15th and 18th, respectively. Schussler had a time of 2:00.17 and Klassen came in at 2:00.65.

“I had no idea my time would hold up that well, but I was still hoping for a little better (ranking),” said Christ, who is coached by Todd McClements. “My second lap tends to be faster than most skaters, so I really tried to make sure I kept that up.”

Dutch skaters took gold and silver, as Ireen Wust had a time of 1:55.95 and Diane Valkenburg skated the 1,500 metres in 1:56.42. Yekaterina Shikhova of Russia earned the bronze medal in 1:57.07.

In the men’s 5,000 metres division A, Jordan Belchos, of Toronto, had a time of six minutes 36.38 seconds to finish in 14th place. In division B action, Mathieu Giroux, of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., had a time of 6:35.50 for 12th place.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance stands at $38,000 (10 gold, 16 silver; 12 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win.