Ivanie Blondin & Laurent Dubreuil Reach the Podium at World Championships in Heerenveen

Blondin wins silver in women’s Mass start; Dubreuil brings home bronze in men’s 1000m

HEERENVEEN, NETHERLANDS – Ivanie Blondin and Laurent Dubreuil both reached the podium at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen on Saturday, brining home silver and bronze medals, respectively. Canada’s World Championship medal tally now stands at five with one final day of competition remaining.

Blondin earned her fifth career World Champion medal in the women’s Mass Start, brining home silver in a time of 8:43.260. The Ottawa native was narrowly edged out in a sprint to the finish line by eventual world champion Marijke Groenewoud of the Netherlands (8:43.150). Fellow Dutch skater Irene Schouten (8:43.560) earned bronze.

The pace of the race picked up substantially in the last lap and Groenewoud broke away from the pack coming out of the final turn. Blondin gave chase but was unable to overtake her, finishing 0.11 seconds behind the winner.

In the men’s mass start final, Canada’s Jordan Belchos, a silver medalist last season, settled for a fourth-place result (7:33.070). American Joey Mantia was crowned world champion, joined on the podium by Arjan Stroetinga of the Netherlands and Bart Swings of Belgium.

Earlier in the day, Canadian sprinter Laurent Dubreuil doubled his personal medal total for the weekend.

The native of Lévis, Que., followed up his historic 500m World Championship title with a bronze medal performance in the 1000m on Saturday. The 28-year old finished the distance in 1:08.569, earning him a spot on the podium behind Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia (1:08.313) and Kai Verbij of the Netherlands (1:08.052).

It was the second career World Championship medal in the event for Dubreuil, who also won bronze last season. He joins Jeremy Wotherspoon (3) and Denny Morrison (3) as the only Canadians to win multiple 1000m medals and stands as one of only two Quebecois skaters to reach the podium in the distance, joining Sylvain Bouchard who won gold in 1998.

Teammate Connor Howe also put forth an incredible 1000m skate on Saturday, helping him break into the top-10. The 20-year old from Canmore, Alta., posted a time of 1:09.720 to finish 10th overall in what his first race in that distance at the World Championship level.

On the women’s side, Winnipeg’s Heather Mclean (1:16.280) and Quebec City’s Béatrice Lamarche (1:16.666) both earned career-best results in the 1000m, finishing ninth and twelfth, respectively. Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine was 14th (1:16.845).

The ISU World Championships comes to an end on Sunday, where titles will be up for grabs in the 1500m, women’s 5000m and men’s 10,000m. Reigning Olympic champion Ted-Jan Bloemen, along with teammate Jordan Belchos, will be looking to reach the podium in what will be the first and only 10,000m race of the international season.

CBC Sports will have live streaming coverage of the races beginning at 6:25 am ET on Sunday, while a full event recap will be televised as part of CBC’s Road to the Olympic Games at 12:00pm ET. Visit the schedule for broadcast and streaming times in your area.

Results

  • Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.): 2nd in Mass Start
  • Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.): 3rd in 1000m
  • Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.): 4th in Mass Start
  • Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.): 8th in Mass Start
  • Heather McLean (Winnipeg, Man.): 9th in 1000m
  • Connor Howe (Canmore, Alta.): 10th in 1000m
  • Béatrice Lamarche (Quebec City, Que.): 12th in 1000m
  • Kaylin Irvine (Calgary, Alta.): 14th in 1000m
  • Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, Que.): 21st in 1000m

Quotes

  • “I feel like I positioned myself well throughout the entire race. Marijke [Groenewoud], the Dutch skater that won it, had so much speed going into the last lap and I’m just not there yet right now. I’m still really happy with silver. I would’ve for sure liked to win gold, but I gave it my all and she beat me today and that’s perfectly fine. Given our circumstances, I think it’s still a pretty big accomplishment. Our season leading up to this was far from optimal, so this is a positive result going into the Olympic season.” – Ivanie Blondin

  • “My race was good, but I didn't know if it would be enough. Yesterday [in his 500m victory], the time said it all. My time wouldn't have held up today if Thomas [Krol] hadn't had two false starts. I had a good race, but I was lucky that one of the three favorites got disqualified, which hardly ever happens. I’m proud of the job I did, even if it wasn’t a perfect race. " – Laurent Dubreuil

  • “I’m really happy with my decision making during the race. I did everything I needed to do to put myself in a great position but just came up short. The bitter feeling of finishing fourth is something I will use for [motivation] the next year.” – Jordan Belchos

  • “I wasn’t expecting this type of result today: it’s a career-best for me! It was a super good race, and I am very happy. I was able to better manage my energy compared to my previous races and that paid off in the final lap. I’m really happy and excited for my 1500m tomorrow.” – Béatrice Lamarche

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