Blondin & Irvine Earn 4th Place Results at World Cup in Norway

Dubreuil gets top 10 finish in 500m; Langelaar wins 1500m silver in Division B

HAMAR, NORWAY – A pair of fourth-place finishes from Ivanie Blondin and Kaylin Irvine – career best results in the ladies 1500m and 500m, respectively – highlighted the final day of competition at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Hamar, Norway.

Blondin of Ottawa, Ont. was fourth (1:57.349) in the ladies 1500m, falling just short of a podium that included American Brittany Bowe (1:55.892) and Dutch skaters Lotte van Beek (1:56.132) and Joy Beune (1:57.151).

It was Blondin’s best-ever 1500m result on the World Cup circuit, eclipsing a previous best of sixth-place earned last season in Erfurt, Germany.

“I was pleasantly surprised today with my fourth-place finish,” said Blondin. “I was feeling much better today on the ice technically and physically. Definitely moving in the right direction right before World Championships next week.”

Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, Alta. also managed a career best on Sunday, finishing the ladies 500m in fourth position (38.214). She was only 0.13 seconds off the podium, behind Vanessa Herzog of Austria (37.612) and Russian skaters Angelina Golikova (37.901) and Olga Fatkulina (38.090).

It was a second impressive performance of the competition for Irvine, who also won a silver medal in Division B of the 500m on Saturday. Her time of 38.810 in yesterday 500m helped her move into the top grouping for today’s races.

“I’m very excited and motivated by my result today,” said Irvine. “I knew I had a faster start than in my first 500m, and I knew I could skater a faster lap as well because my top speed in my 1000m yesterday felt amazing.”

“I’ve been on the brink of a personal best race for a few competitions so far this season and have had many moments in practice where I thought “this is my best yet” but I had yet to execute it for a complete race; today I did.”

In the men’s 500m, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que. posted a time of 35.013 to finish sixth, earning his second top 10 result of the weekend in that distance. He narrowly missed out on the podium in yesterday race, coming within 0.041 seconds of a bronze medal. Gilmore Junio of Calgary, Alta. was one spot behind him in seventh (35.086) on Sunday, while Christopher Fiola of Montreal, Que. was 20th (35.666).

Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que. also made the top 10, coming tenth (1:47.451) in the 1500m. Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, Alta. was 17th (1:49.861) in the same distance.

Canada also found the podium and earned a trio of top 10 results in Division B on Sunday.

Tyson Langelaar of Winnipeg, Man. won a silver medal in the men’s 1500m with a time of 1:47.396. The World Cup rookie was only 0.53 behind gold medalist Junya Miwa of Japan (1:46.857). Teammates Jordan Belchos of Toronto, Ont. and Connor Howe of Canmore, Alta. were 10th (1:50.543) and 11th (1:50.877) in the same distance, respectively.

“Racing here in Norway felt very different compared to any of my past competitions. It felt like a larger stage than juniors and my other previous races,” said Langelaar, last year’s Canadian junior champion. “I was happy that I stuck to my game plan and executed it. I was pleased with how I managed to hold my technique together over my 1500m and was a little surprised by the final time. I’m excited for the future and will surely never forget my first World Cup in Hamar.”

In the ladies 1500m, Kali Christ of Regina, Sask. was fourth (1:59.433) and Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que. was sixth (2:00.368). It was the near podium performance in Division B for Christ, who was making her international debut at this weekend’s World Cup, having also finished fourth in the ladies 1000m yesterday.

Sunday’s races marked the conclusion of the World Cup in Norway, the last event before next weekend’s World Single Distance Championships in Inzell, Germany. Those World Championships will be followed by the World Sprint Championships in Heerrenveen, Netherlands (February 23-24) and World Allround Championships in Calgary, Alberta (March 2-3). 

Visit the ISU Results Portal for official results from all of this weekend’s races. To read about the performances of Canadian athletes, visit www.speedskating.ca.