Ivanie Blondin continued her winning weekend at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating on Sunday, capturing two gold medals with an individual victory in the 1500m and a group effort alongside Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais in the Team Pursuit. The men’s Team Pursuit also earned a silver medal, capping off a successful competition in Kazakhstan for the Canadian team.
Blondin’s time of 1:55.599 in the 1500m set a new track record for the Alau Ice Palace, breaking a mark set by fellow Canadian Christine Nesbitt in 2011. Joining her on the podium were Irene Wüst of the Netherlands, the reigning World and Olympic Champion in the distance, and American Brittany Bowe.
“It’s been a pretty phenomenal weekend! I couldn’t be happier. I knew that we would achieve the first step of the podium in Team Pursuit this year, but the gold medal was a perfect way to cap off this weekend. I’m already excited for next week’s races.”
On Saturday, Blondin won her first gold medal of the weekend in the 5000m. The last time a skater won both distances in a single competition was eleven years ago. Blondin’s previous best World Cup result in the 1500m was sixth during the 2017-18 season.
Later in the day, Blondin teamed up with fellow Ottawa native Weidemann and Maltais of Saguenay, Que. to capture gold in the Team Pursuit. Their time of 3:00.246 was a mere tenth of a second faster than that of the team from the Netherlands, while the Russian ladies rounded out the podium.
It’s the first gold medal in the Team Pursuit for the Canadian ladies since 2012 and the first time Maltais has stood atop the podium since making the switch to long track speed skating last season.
To close out the competition on Sunday, the men’s Team Pursuit skated to a silver medal with a time of 3:47.650. Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, Alta.), Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.) and Tyson Langelaar (Winnipeg, Man.) were paired against the Russians, who would eventually finish third. The Italian team had the fastest time of the day.
The medal is the first of 20-year-old Langelaar’s career on the World Cup circuit and marks a return to the podium in the discipline for the Canadian team after almost two years without a medal.
“It feels amazing to get on the podium for the first time at a senior event. I’m very thrilled. We had pretty good execution today, but there were a few slips so I think next week we can do even better. As a team, we pushed through and gave it our all and that’s what got us on the podium today.”
Other Results to Note
- Weidemann, Maltais and Béatrice Lamarche (Quebec City, Que.) competed in Division B of the 1500m and finished second, fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Canadian long track team heads to Nagano, Japan for the next stop on the World Cup circuit. The competition takes place December 13-15.
“Our secret for performing well in the Team Pursuit today is that we train together every day and are very accustomed to skating together, so everything comes a bit naturally! I have felt really good all weekend and all three of us had a lot of success in our individual distances, so we were able to bring that positive energy into our race today.”