Blondin, Dubreuil & Weidemann Earn Top 10 Finishes at World Cup in Obihiro

Blondin finishes fifth in ladies mass start and seventh in 1500m; Dubreuil with second consecutive top 10 result in 500m

OBIHIRO, JAPAN – Ivanie Blondin led the way with a pair of top 10 finishes – fifth in the ladies mass start and seventh in the ladies 1500m – on the second day of competition at the 2018 ISU World Cup Speed Skating #1 in Obihiro, Japan. Laurent Dubreuil and Isabelle Weidemann also earned top 10 results.

Blondin of Ottawa, Ont. finished seventh in the ladies 1500m with a time of 1:57.094. It was one of the best results in that distance of her World Cup career, just one spot behind last season’s sixth-place finish in Erfurt, Germany.

“I was decently happy with the 1500m overall and being in the top 10 is definitely nice,” explained Blondin about her first race on Saturday. “It’s a distance that I’ve struggled with in the past and I’m still taking my time trying to figure it out. Today my opener was a bit slower than it should have been and that’s a mistake I’ll correct for the next time.”

The two-time Olympian also managed a fifth-place finish in the first ladies mass start race of the international season. The 2015-16 world champion in the mass start discipline clocked in at 8:58.940 and earned 80 points in the race, including six sprint points.         

Blondin elaborated about her experience during the mass start: “Going into that race with under an hour break after the 1500m was a tight schedule. I did the best that I could with the legs that I had at the time. Isabelle [Weidemann] and I were also working well together during the race, since we want to use this as a team event in the future. I think that our plan was really well executed and I’m very happy with that.”

A pair of her teammates also secured top 10 results in their respective races on Saturday.

After a fifth-place showing in Friday’s 500m(1), Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que. earned another top 10 result in the 500m(2). His time of 35.093, which was slightly slower than yesterday’s 35.049, was good enough for a ninth-place finish this time around.

Meanwhile, Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa, Ont. finished tied Dan Li of China for eighth place in the ladies’ mass start. The skaters posted identical times of 9:03.280 and each earned 68 points.

Canada’s remaining skaters were also in action at the Meiji Hokkaido-Tokachi Oval.

Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que. was the top Canadian in the men’s 1500m, finishing in 12th position with a time of 1:46.752, while David La Rue of Saint-Lambert, Que. posted a time of 1:48.605, putting him in the 17th spot. Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, Alta. managed a seventh-place finish in Division B with a time of 1:48.370.

Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont. finished the ladies 1500m in 19th position (2:00.384).

Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, Alta. and Heather McLean of Winnipeg, Man. managed similar results in their second 500m race of the weekend. Irvine posted a nearly identical time as yesterday, which put her 17th place (38.823), while McLean finished in 19th place (39.171) for the second consecutive day.

A pair of newcomers participated in 500m(2) Division B races to kick-off the day. Christopher Fiola of Montreal, Que. was 15th (35.906), while teammate David La Rue of Saint-Lambert, Que. came in 24th (36.298).

All of Canada’s skaters will participate on the final day of competition tomorrow. Blondin, McLean and Irvine will skate in the ladies 1000m; Dubreuil, Fiola and Gélinas-Beaulieu in the men’s 1000m; Blondin, Morrison and Weidemann in the ladies 3000m; and Bloemen, Belchos and Gélinas-Beaulieu in the men’s 5000m. The team sprint finals for both genders will also take place.

CBC Sports and Radio-Canada will both have live coverage of the event beginning at 12:30AM ET.

For more information on the event, including links to schedules, results and webcasting, please visit https://www.speedskating.ca/events/world-cup-1-lt.