Isabelle Weidemann captured the silver medal in the ladies’ 5000m on the final day of races at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. It was her second individual podium of the season, adding to the 3000m gold medal she earned two weeks ago in Tomakomai, Japan.
Weidemann skated a smooth race from start to finish, clocking in with a time of 7:06.190, a little over a second behind gold medalist Esmee Visser (7:05.188) of the Netherlands. Natalia Voronina (7:08.686) of Russia rounded out the podium in bronze medal position, which pushed Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Ont. into fourth-place (7:10.220).
“I feel very happy with my race today,” said Weidemann. “My goal was to stick to consistent lap times and I feel like I executed that. I’ve been nervous the past couple of weeks, after winning in Japan, because I wanted to prove that my result wasn’t a fluke. I have lots to work on still, but I’m excited for the opportunity to race next weekend in Heerenveen.”
“I’m also very proud of my teammates Val and Ivanie. They skated amazing races today and I think their performances show how strong our women’s program is.”
After kicking off her long track World Cup career with a seventh-place finish in yesterday’s Division B 1500m, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que. came second in the Division B ladies 5000m with a time of 7:17.628. She will get the opportunity to test herself against competitors from the top grouping in that distance at next week’s World Cup in Heerenveen.
“I was nervous coming into this race because I was scared of the pain that comes with a 5000m,” said Maltais with a laugh. “But I overcame that fear and confronted it in the right way. The ice was difficult here because it doesn’t slide much, but I was able to adapt and followed my game plan the best I could. Overall, it was an excellent debut for me.”
Jordan Belchos of Toronto, Ont. finished in 12th position in the men’s 10,000m, skating the 25-lap race in 14:03.795. Meanwhile, Graeme Fish of Moose Jaw, Sask. earned a third-place result in the Division B race with a very impressive time of 13:20.562. His teammate Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, Alta. finished 10th (13:38.552) in that same grouping.
“This was definitely the best 10,000m I have ever skated,” said the 21-year old Fish, who was competing in just the second World Cup of his career. “Technically it was very good. I could build the turns really well and my position stayed the same the whole race. Hopefully I can carry this race into my 5000m next weekend.”
Canada also finished sixth (1:29.710) in the ladies’ team sprint, with Japan, Russia and the Netherlands earning podium spots. The men’s sprint team was ninth (1:47.960), behind medalists Norway, Netherlands and Russia.