Ladies Team Pursuit Earns Silver Medal and Overall World Cup Victory

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Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann skate in the ladies Team Pursuit at the World Cup in Nagano, Japan on Sunday. Photo Credit: International Skating Union

Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais stepped onto the podium for the third straight Team Pursuit on the World Cup Speed Skating circuit, capturing the silver medal in Nagano on Sunday. The medal also secured the Canadian team a first-place overall ranking in the World Cup standings for the event.

With a time of 2:57.811 this weekend, the Canadians beat the previous track record at the M-Wave arena but fell just 1.44 seconds short of the mark set in the first pair by the Japanese ladies. The team from Russia rounded out the podium, a distant third at more than six seconds slower than the winning pace.

Blondin and Weidemann, of Ottawa, join Maltais (Saguenay, Que.) as the top ranked team in the World Cup standings, ahead of Russia and the Netherlands, having previously won one gold and one bronze medal this season. The result improves on the Canadian team’s ranking of third from last season.

Earlier on Sunday, Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.) skated a time of 1:09.116 to earn a career best fourth-place result in the men’s 1000m. His previous high mark in the distance was seventh. Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, Alta.) was also fourth in the men’s 5000m with a time of 6:20.029, his highest finish of this World Cup season to date.

The Canadian long track team resumes international competition at the ISU Four Continents Speed Skating Championships in Milwaukee, USA from January 31 to February 2, 2020, before returning home to Calgary on February 7-8 for the fifth World Cup of the season.

Other Results to Note

  • Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, Que.) won the B Division of the men’s 1000m with a time of 1:09.234.
  • Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.) earned a top-10 result in the men’s 5000m, clocking in at 6:22.315 to finish eighth.

Quotes

“I’m really excited about our results today. I think they show that we have been very consistent over the World Cup season and that our team is strong. I was a bit disappointed with my race yesterday; even though I had the bronze medal, I was hoping to be a little bit closer to first place. I’ve got a lot of work to do over the next couple of months leading into the last World Cups and World Championships. I’m excited to go home and do some training to fine tune the little things that will make a difference.”

– Isabelle Weidemann
“With each Team Pursuit that we’ve done this year, we have worked to improve and I think today we put that into practice very well. There are still little details that we need to work on – like our start and making our exchanges a bit more synchronized – but overall we skated a very good race. We gave everything that we had today. We know that we aren’t far behind the Japanese and we can already see that it’s possible to beat them at the World Championships.”

 – Valérie Maltais
“I am very happy with my race. My back hasn’t been in top shape this week, but it has been getting better by the day. I knew that my legs would be ready today, it was just a question of whether my back would allow me to move well enough. I executed my race almost perfectly, which led to the best result of my career. This gives me the confidence I need to fight for a medal at the World Championships in February.”

– Laurent Dubreuil