Isabelle Weidemann Golden as Canada Wins Three Medals on Opening Day of World Cup Season

Isabelle Weidemann wins gold and Ivanie Blondin bronze in 3000m; Gilmore Junio, Laurent Dubreuil and David La Rue take bronze in men’s team sprint

MINSK, BELARUS – Canadian long track skaters kicked off the World Cup season with a trio of podium performances on the opening day competition in Minks, Belarus.

Isabelle Weidemann and Ivanie Blondin won gold and bronze in the ladies’ 3000m, respectively, while Gilmore Junio, Laurent Dubreuil and David La Rue raced to a bronze medal in the men’s team sprint event.

Weidemann posted a time of 4:04.679 to win gold in the ladies’ 3000m, ahead of Carlijn Achtereekte of the Netherlands (4:05.153) and teammate Blondin (4:06.080).

The Ottawa-born duo, who finished last season ranked fourth and fifth in the World Cup standings for long distances, are off to a hot start. Weidemann won three individual medals in 2018-2019, including a gold and silver in the 3000m distance, while Blondin improved on her season’s best fourth-place result in the distance by winning bronze in her first race of the season.

Meanwhile, Junio (Calgary, Alta.), Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.) and La Rue (Saint-Lambert, Que.) earned Canada’s first medal of the season earlier in the day, posting a time of 1:21.670 in the team sprint, which put them behind the Netherlands and China.

It marked the first career World Cup medal for La Rue, who has been on the senior circuit since the 2017-2018 season. While Dubreuil returned to the podium after helping his country earn a pair of bronze medals in the event last season, alongside Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu and Christopher Fiola.

Additional Results to Note

  • Graeme Fish (Moose Jaw, Sask.) finished two spots off the podium in Division A of the men’s 5000m, coming in fifth place with a time of 6:24.741.
  • Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.) reached the podium in Division B of the men’s 5000m, earning a bronze medal with a time of 6:24.166.
  • Marsha Hudey (White City, Sask.), Heather McLean (Winnipeg, Man.) and Kaylin Irvine (Calgary, Alta.) completed the ladies’ Team Sprint in 1:31.509, good for a fifth-place result.

The action in Belarus continues Saturday with the ladies’ 500m and 1500m, along with the men’s 1000m and mass start. The races will be live streamed on CBC Sports beginning at 7:00AM ET.

ADDITIONAL RESULTS

  • Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.): 3rd in 5000m (Division B)
  • Graeme Fish (Moose Jaw, Sask.): 5th in 5000m
  • Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, Alta.): 8th in 5000m
  • Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.): 12th in 3000m

QUOTES

"It feels really great to start the season off with a first place. I was very nervous for today, so it was nice to get the first one of the circuit out of the way. I’m excited to continue onto next weekend." - Isabelle Weidemann

"My race went really well. I started off fast – relative to this ice – and I died a little bit more than I wanted to at the end. It was still a good race and I was happy to share the podium with Isabelle today. I think it was a magical moment for both of us. I was definitely expecting these results coming off trials and based off of how I was feeling in training. Last year was a bit of a dip year, but this year I’m back to normal. I feel good on the ice, strong and motivated." - Ivanie Blondin

"Winning my first medal after two years on the World Cup circuit is a great feeling. We executed our race strategy very well, and while there are certainly improvements that we can make, I think we can be satisfied with our work. I’m very happy with our race and what we accomplished. The next objectives are to win gold in the team sprint and to win a medal in an individual distance." - David La Rue

RESOURCES