Blondin wins gold in 3000m, Boisvert-Lacroix collects bronze in 500m in last day of racing before PyeongChang
Speed Skating Canada – Erfurt, Germany, January 21, 2018 – Ivanie Blondin and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix finished their preparation for the PyeongChang Olympic Games on a strong note, as they respectively won gold in the women’s 3000m and bronze in the men’s 500m, Sunday, at the ISU World Cup stage held in Erfurt, Germany.
On the last day of international competition before the Games, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa collected her fourth individual medal on the World Cup circuit this season, her first gold.
This is the first victory by a skater from the Canadian women’s team in this event at a World Cup since Cindy Klassen came up with gold at the last stage of the 2005-2006 season, in March of 2006. Kristina Groves subsequently earned gold in the women’s 3000m held at the World Single Distance Championships in March of 2008.
Blondin skated Sunday’s 3000m race in 4:04.86 to finish ahead of Dutch skater Antoinette de Jong (4:05.45) and Czech athlete Martina Sáblíková (4:05.91).
“Well, I can say that I definitely wasn’t expecting that!”, said Blondin, who won bronze in this distance at the first World Cup stage held this season, in Heerenveen.
“I think this whole week, I’ve had a really calm mindset, I just did what I had to do and focused on the right things,” added Blondin, who has been coached by Bart Schouten, ChPC, over the last two seasons. “I was calm going into the race. It allowed me to perform really well today. I didn’t panic, I just went out there and skated, and did the best that I possibly could today. The result was more than what I expected and I‘m really happy about that! It was a great race, super steady, I was conservative in the beginning a little bit and I think that it helped me maintain the right pace today on this ice.”
Third medal this season for Boisvert-Lacroix
In the men’s 500m, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix from Sherbrooke, QC, skated to a time of 35.00 seconds to earn bronze, finishing 15 hundredths of a second away from gold medalist Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway. Jan Smeekens (34,95) of the Netherlands came up with silver.
Gilmore Junio (35.11, coach: Jeremy Wotherspoon) from Calgary finished 10th, while Laurent Dubreuil (35.57, coach: Gregor Jelonek, ChPC for nine years) from Lévis, QC, was 15th and Alexandre St-Jean (35.58, coach: Jelonek for five years) from Québec City, was 16th.
“I couldn’t be happier about my podium finish today, especially after a disappointing race on Friday,” said Boisvert-Lacroix, who also won two gold medals in this distance earlier this season.
“I came up with a great race,” he added. “Today, I felt much better after doing absolutely nothing, yesterday, which allowed me to recover a little more from jet lag and the travelling we did a few days ago. My only goal today was to skate a much better race technically. I applied myself very well, especially in the first turn. The big difference as compared to Friday was the way I skated technically.”
“My coach over the last four seasons, Gregor Jelonek, told me that I could even have won the race. Over the last few meters, I tensed up when I felt the Norwegian skater in my pair (Holmefjord Lorentzen) gain some ground on me. But these are adjustments we will make before the Games. I’m really looking forward to travelling to South Korea!”
In the men’s 1000m, Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, ON, who has been coached by Bart Schouten over the last four years, finished in 7th place with a time of 1:09.94, followed in 8th place by Alexandre St-Jean (1:10.00, coach: Jelonek for five years) from Québec City. Denny Morrison (1:10.43, coach: Schouten for eight years) from Fort St. John, B.C., was 11th.
The Canadian team will now finalize its preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games after winning 22 medals over the first five World Cup stages held this season, which is 12 medals more than what Canada won over the season leading up to the Sochi Games. Heading towards Vancouver 2010, Canada also won 22 medals in the five World Cup stages scheduled before the Games.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
3000m – W
OR – Ivanie Blondin (4:04.86)
500m – M
BRONZE – Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (35.00)
10. Gilmore Junio (35.119)
15. Laurent Dubreuil (35.57)
16. Alexandre St-Jean (35.58)
1000m – M
7. Vincent De Haître (1:09.94)
8. Alexandre St-Jean (1:10.00)
11. Denny Morrison (1:10.43)
More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey. www.speedskating.ca
Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:
Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis
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Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
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Phone: 514 213-9897