Ivanie Blondin and Connor Howe both earned national titles on the third day of the Canadian Speed Skating Championships presented by Intact Insurance, brining home gold in their respective 1500m races at the Centre de glace Intact Assurance in Quebec City.
Blondin medaled for the fifth time at these championships on Saturday evening, winning the women’s 1500m with a new track record of 1:55.509. She was joined on the podium by Isabelle Weidemann (1:56.536) and Béatrice Lamarche (1:58.128), who accepted the bronze medal in front of her hometown crowd. It was Blondin’s second national title of the competition, having also earned the top spot in the women’s 1000m yesterday.
“It has been a long three days, but every race kept getting better and better. Today, I was focusing more on my technique. My coach Bart [Schouten] decided that he wasn’t going to give me lap times to allow me to focus and execute the technical points that I wanted to work on, and things turned out really well!” – Ivanie Blondin
Meanwhile, Connor Howe was the fastest male skater on the day, brining home gold in the 1500m with an impressive time of 1:44.770. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (1:45.094) put down an incredible final lap to overtake Tyson Langelaar (1:45.649) – who led their pair until the exit of the final turn – and claim silver.
Courtney Sarault earns a pair of first-place finishes on second day of short track racing
Courtney Sarault won the women’s 1000m-1 on Friday morning, crossing the finish line with a time of 1:30,823 to edge out fellow national team members Kim Boutin (1:30,907) and Claudia Gagnon (1:31,107). The Moncton native also finished first in the 1500m-2 (2:36,484) later in the day, ahead of Gagnon (2:36,517) and Renee Steenge (2:37,204), who was tops in yesterday’s 1500m-1.
Maxime Laoun was the top men’s skater in the 1000m-1 (1:27,196), earning his first podium after finishing outside the A-Final in both his distances yesterday. The Montreal native was joined on the podium by Steven Dubois (1:27,248) and Pascal Dion (1:27,272).
Dubois followed up his early morning silver medal by winning his second distance of these championships. The two-time overall Canadian Champion made an incredible inside pass in the final lap of the men’s 1500m-2 to overtake both Dion (2:20,548) and Laoun (2:20,676) and finish first.
After two days of racing, Dubois sits atop the men’s leaderboard with 18,000 points, followed by Dion (16,200) and Laoun (9,910). Sarault is the top female skater with 14,275 points, putting her slightly ahead of second place Boutin (12,523), while the race for third overall is much tighter, with Steenge (11,887), Gagnon (11,087) and Blais (10,083) all within striking distance.
The 2022 Canadian Speed Skating Championships presented by Intact Insurance come to an end on Sunday at the Centre de glace Intact Assurance. The country’s top long track skaters will compete in the mass start, while the short track skaters will race two more distances – 500m-2 and 1000m-2 – which will help determine their final rankings and who will be crowned national champion.