Blondin wins silver, Nesbitt bronze at World Cup Final

Blondin wins silver, Nesbitt bronze at World Cup Final in the Netherlands
Portland Outdoors and Kimberley Speed Skating Club will receive $1,000 from Intact Insurance World Cup Podium Tracker program

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands - Its was a double medal day for Canada at the Essent ISU World Cup Final in Heerenveen, Netherlands, as Ivanie Blondin took silver in the mass start and Christine Nesbitt skated to bronze in the 1,500 metres. The ISU long track season ends with the World Single Distances Championships in Sochi, Russia, from March 21 to 24.

Ottawa's Blondin earned 15 points in the mass start for a silver medal. Irene Schouten of the Netherlands took gold with 33 points and Bo-Reum Kim of Korea had bronze with 11 points. Blondin also finished the World Cup season in third place with 300 points. Kim won the season title with 365 points, followed by Mariska Hulsman of the Netherlands with 330 points.

Nesbitt won the 1,500-metre bronze medal in one minute and 56.86 seconds. Regina's Kali Christ recorded her best career ranking with a fourth place finish in 1:56.97. Winnipeggers Brittany Schussler and Cindy Klassen were 12th (1:59.03) and 15th (2:00.13), respectively.

In season World Cup ranking for the 1,500 metres, Nesbitt finished second overall with 375 points behind Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands with 411.

Toronto's Jordan Belchos skated in the mass start, recording a fifth place finish with eight points. With 216 points for the season, he took the bronze medal in the World Cup season ranking.

Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary took 18th place in the women's 500 metres in a time of 39.18 seconds. Edmonton's Jamie Gregg was ninth with a time of 35.24 seconds. Laurent Dubreuil, of Lévis, Que., was 15th (35.37) and Gilmore Junio of Calgary was 18th (35.65).

In the 1,500 metres, Lucas Makowsky of Regina finished in 20th place in a time of 1:48.39.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance stands at $43,000 (11 gold, 19 silver; 13 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Portland Outdoors and Kimberley Speed Skating Club will each received $1,000 check from the program.