Graeme Fish and Ivanie Blondin captured the two gold medals up for grabs on opening day of the 2019 Canadian Long Track Championships presented by Intact Insurance.
Fish, a native of Moose Jaw, SK, improved on his third-place finish in the 5000m at last year’s Canadian Championships with a time of 6:18.60. Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON) and Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, AB) earned the silver and bronze medals in the distance.
“It was a really technically good race. I slowed down in the middle section but I was able to bring it back and I’m really happy. Ted-Jan and Jordan are both really good skaters. I think it’s going to be really close between all three of us this season, but this is a good start!”
In the ladies 3000m, Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin skated a personal best time of 3:57.89 en route to a first-place finish. She was joined on the podium by fellow Ottawa native Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, QC).
“I was confident going into the race, but still had a couple of questions since I was coming off a small injury. I really sent it in the first couple of laps which led to me getting a personal best today, so I’m very happy with the outcome.”
The Canadian Championships continue tomorrow at the Calgary Olympic Oval with the 500m, men’s 10,000m and ladies 5000m events. The results of the competition will be used to select the team representing Canada on the ISU World Cup circuit this season.