New Canadian record as Women’s Team Pursuit captures gold in Salt Lake City

 

Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann reach top step of the podium for the second time this season

SALT LAKE CITY, USA – The women of the Canadian team pursuit squad continued their winning ways in Salt Lake City on Saturday, skating to their second gold medal in as many races on the ISU World Cup circuit. Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann combined to set a new national record in the process, taking advantage of the fast ice at the Utah Olympic Oval. 
 
The Canadian trio skated in the final pair of the women’s team pursuit, with the Dutch team having laid down a fast pace of 2:52.692 in the prior race. While the Japanese women looked set to outpace the Canadians to the line, Nana Takagi fell in the final lap and opened the door for Blondin, Maltais and Weidemann to capture gold. 
 
Their time of 2:52.412 bests their previous Canadian record – set in Salt Lake City in 2020 – by over a second and was significantly faster than the mark established by the bronze medalists from Russia (2:56.220). With two wins, the Canadians continue to sit atop the overall World Cup rankings ahead of the Netherlands and Japan. 
 
In other action on Saturday, Connor Howe (Canmore, AB) set a new personal best in the men’s 1500m to finish sixth. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, QC) and Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON) both made the final of the men’s mass start, finishing seventh and thirteenth, respectively.
 
The World Cup in Salt Lake City concludes on Sunday with the men’s second 500m, the women’s 1500m, the men’s 1000m, the women’s mass start and the men’s team pursuit. The races will be streamed live on CBC Sports beginning at 2:30pm ET.

QUOTES

"Bringing the focus back to ourselves this season has really paid off. Before each race, we focus on the process and what we need to do on the ice to perform well, instead of the final outcome. I think that relieves the pressure a little bit. Unfortunately, today the Japanese fell, but even though they were ahead of us at the time, part of the race is that you have to cross the line with three skaters standing. We did that today and I’m proud of our results and our execution."

- Ivanie Blondin

"We can tell that a lot of teams are looking at us, because they are copying some of our techniques. Today, the Japanese tried to follow the same exchange strategy that we use – with each person leading for 600m, 600m and three laps – but I don’t think that works for everyone. We found what makes us fast, and every team needs to do what is best for them. We continue to talk about what we can do to improve and won’t hesitate to make adjustments as we head toward our goals at the Olympic Games."

- Valérie Maltais

FULL CANADIAN RESULTS

Women’s 500m (2)

Marsha Hudey – 17th

Brooklyn McDougall – 19th

Heather McLean – 9th (Division B)

Kaylin Irvine – 10th (Division B)

Men’s 1500m

Connor Howe – 6th

Tyson Langelaar – 3rd (Division B)

Vincent de Haitre – 15th (Division B)

Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 17th (Division B)

Women's 1000m

Maddison Pearman – 7th (Div. B)

Alexa Scott – 13th (Division B)

Kaylin Irvine – 18th (Division B)

Brooklyn McDougall – 30th (Div. B)

Men’s Mass Start

Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 7th

Jordan Belchos – 13th

Women's Team Pursuit

Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann – 1st