Canada’s Ivanie Blondin won gold in a thrilling mass start race on the final day of action at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Minsk, Belarus. She completed the distance with a time of 8:22.630 and earned 60 sprint points.
The Ottawa native raced past Dutch skater Irene Schouten (8:22.710, 40 sprint points), the defending world champion, in the final straight to take the top spot on the podium. Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida (8:23.570, 20 sprint points) took home bronze.
Fellow Italian skater Noemi Bonazza broke away from the pack after the first sprint lap, and held the lead for 10 of 16 laps, before running out of steam and getting overtaken by the group.
Blondin is no stranger to winning medals in the mass start. Since the 2012-2013 season, the two-time Olympian has captured one gold and two silver at the World Single Distance Championships, along with six gold, eleven silver and nine bronze on the World Cup circuit.
Additional Results to Note
- Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.) won Division B of the 500m (35.371) and Tyson Langelaar (Winnipeg, Man.) was second in Division B of the 1500m (1:48.449), results that will push both skaters into Division A at next weekend’s World Cup in Poland.
- Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.) failed to qualify for the mass start finals after coming tenth in her semifinals race.