Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Graeme Fish all earned top 10 results on the third day of competition at the 2019 ISU World Single Distance Championships in Inzell, Germany.
The ice was fast at the Max Aicher Arena on Saturday, where athletes established 15 personal best times – six in the ladies’ 5000m and three in each of the other distances (men’s 1000m, ladies’ 1000m and men’s 10,000m).
Weidemann of Ottawa, Ont. finished the ladies’ 5000m in fourth-place, skating a new personal best of 6:56.133 to earn the highest world championship result of her career.
She was in bronze medal position going into the final pairing of the day but was bumped off the podium by world record holder Martina Sáblíková of the Czech Republic, who set a new track record (6:44.854) on her way to a gold medal.
“I’m happy with a small personal best and a fourth-place finish today”, said Weidemann, whose previous best result in the 5000m was fifth in 2016. “I’m not 100% satisfied with my execution, but I feel as though I’ve made some big improvements from last year. My lap times weren’t as consistent as I would have liked them, and that probably cost me some seconds.
“The women’s field was extremely fast, and of course I would have liked to be more of a contender. I’m excited to get back to work this summer to try and close the gap.”
Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Ont. put forth an equally impressive performance clocking in at 6:56.731, good for a sixth-place finish.
The race was won by Sáblíková, who captured her eleventh consecutive world title. Esmee Visser of the Netherlands was second (6:46.143) and Natalia Voronina of Russia third (6:50.393).
In the men’s 10,000m, world championship rookie Graeme Fish of Moose Jaw, Sask. eclipsed his previous personal best of 13:14.68 by nearly ten seconds. His mark of 13:05.698 earned his a seventh-place finish.
“For me, this was one of the best races I’ve ever skated, ” said Fish, who earned the right to represent Canada at these championships after posting the fastest time at the national team skate-off in January. “Technically, I skated really well. I was able to hold the technique for 23 of the 25 laps and it really helped me stay focused for the whole race.”
“Improving on my personal best by 9 seconds at the world championships is nothing to complain about either. I am really glad to see that I am improving and hope to maybe contend for a medal in the years to come.”
The podium for the longest individual distance featured Dutch skaters Jorrit Bergsma (12:52.928) and Patrick Roest (12:53.343), along with Russian Danila Semerikov (2:57.400).
Canada failed to crack the top 10 in the shorter distance on Saturday.
Heather McLean of Winnipeg, Man. was the lone Canadian participant in the ladies 1000m, racing to a 12th place finish with a time of 1:15.668.
American Brittany Bowe (1:13.414) won the world championship title for the second time in her career, with Austria’s Vanessa Herzog (1:14.389) in silver medal position and Japan’s Nao Kodaira (1:14.443) taking home bronze.
In the men’s 1000m, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que. finished in 13th position (1:08.867), while Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que. was 21st (1:09.617).
The Dutch won all three medals in that distance, with Kai Verbij (1:07.399) being crown world champion ahead of teammates Thomas Krol (1:07.672) and Kjeld Nuis (1:07.814).
- BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) – 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, Mass Start, Team Pursuit
- CHRIST, Kali (Regina, SK) – 1000m (R), 1500m (R), Team Pursuit (S), Team Sprint
- HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK) – 500m, Team Sprint (S)
- IRVINE, Kaylin (Calgary, AB) – 500m, 1000m (R), Team Sprint
- MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, QC) – 1500m, 3000m, 5000m (S), Mass Start, Team Pursuit
- MCLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB) – 500m, 1000m, Team Sprint
- WEIDEMANN, Isabelle (Ottawa, ON) – 1500m (S), 3000m, 5000m, Mass Start (S), Team Pursuit
- BELCHOS, Jordan (Toronto, ON) – 5000m, 10,000 (R), Team Pursuit
- BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 5000m, 10,000 (S), Team Pursuit
- DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) – 500m, 1000m
- FIOLA, Christopher (Montreal, QC) – 500m
- FISH, Graeme (Moose Jaw, SK) – 5000m, 10,000m
- HOWE, Connor (Canmore, AB) – 1000m (S), 1500m
- GÉLINAS-BEAULIEU, Antoine (Sherbrooke, QC) – 1000m, 1500m, Team Pursuit
- JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB) – 500m
- LANGELAAR, Tyson (Winnipeg, MB) – 1500m (R), Mass Start (S), Team Pursuit (S)
- NEUFELD, Jess (Winnipeg, MB) – Mass Start
* (R) Reserve: a spot that could become available in the distance should another country not accept their spot
* (S) Substitution: an athlete that could fill a spot should there be an injury to someone else on the team