Gilmore Junio was the top Canadian skater on the second day of competition at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Heerenveen, Netherlands, earning a tenth-place finish in the men’s 500m. Ivanie Blondin was disqualified from the ladies mass start, despite putting forth a result that would have also earned her a top 10 spot.
Junio posted a time of 34.822 in the men’s 500m to finish tenth. The two-time Olympian from Calgary, Alta. was able to improve upon his times from the Division B races at last weekend’s World Cup in Poland, where her finished second (35.587) and sixth (35.564).
“Today’s race was a massive relief,” said Junio. “After coming back to training late and struggling early in the fall, crossing the line and seeing a season’s best and one of my fastest times in the Thialf was an awesome feeling.”
“I still have a lot of work to do to get back to competing with the fastest guys, but today’s result validates I’m taking steps in the right direction.”
Teammate Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que. finished the same race in 35.029 (18th).
Meanwhile, it was a frustrating day at the oval for Blondin, who was disqualified from the ladies’ mass start race after making contact with Korean skater Bo-Reum Kim, who was attempting an inside pass on the final turn. It was surely a disappointing result given that she earned two sprint points in the race and crossed the line in a top 10 position. The result bumped the Ottawa, Ont. native from third to seventh in the overall World Cup rankings, where she currently has 236 points.
Jordan Blechos of Toronto, Ont. skated to an 11th place finish in the men’s mass start, posting a time of 8:14.570 and earning one sprint point. He now sits just outside of the top 10 in overall rankings, in eleventh position with 231 points.
Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que. and Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa, Ont. both failed to qualify for their respective mass start finals based on their semi-final results on Friday.
A trio of Canadian women were grouped near the middle of the standing in the ladies’ 500m, with Heather McLean of Winnipeg, Man. in 13th (38.287), Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask. in 14th (38.386) and Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, Alta. in 16th (38.402).
In the 1500m, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., picked the ice and fell a few strides into the start of his race. He recovered and finished, but his time of 1:48.708 was only fast enough for a 20th place result. Blondin finished in 15th position (1:57.149) in the ladies’ race.
The results in Division B races on Saturday were highlighted by a podium finish and a personal best.
Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que. was the top skater in the men’s 500m, earning a first-place finish with a time of 35.113. Meanwhile, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que. posted a new personal best time of 1:58.815 in the ladies’ 1500m to finish fourth, an improvement on her seventh-place (2:02.229) result from last weekend.
The remainder the Division B results from Heerenveen are as follows:
- Christopher Fiola was 8th (35.378) in the 500m
- David La Rue was 8th (1:48.270) in the 1500m, 20th (35.958) in the 500m
- Isabelle Weidemann was 10th (2:00.104) in the 1500m
- Ted-Jan Bloemen was 14th (1:49.439) in the 1500m
- Keri Morrison was 15th (2:01.206) in the 1500m
- Jordan Belchos was 16th (1:49.490) in the 1500m
The competition concludes Sunday with the men’s and ladies 1000m, ladies 3000m and men’s 5000m.