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Blondin, Maltais and Weidemann combine to capture Canada’s first victory of the long track season

TOMASZÓW MAZOWIECKI, POLAND – At the ISU World Cup Speed Skating on Saturday, the Canadian team stood atop the podium for the first time this international season. Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann captured gold in the women’s team pursuit on the second day of competition in Poland.
In a repeat of the strategy that won them two World Cup golds last year, Maltais (Saguenay, QC) led the trio off the line, using her sprint ability built through years as a short track skater to get the team off to a quick start. Blondin took over after a lap and a half, before making way for fellow Ottawa native Weidemann to pull the team forward for the final three laps. They crossed the finish line in 3:00.280.
Skating in the final pair, the Canadians needed a quick time to better the mark of 3:01.516 put forth by the Japanese team in the penultimate race. The three skaters from the Netherlands rounded out the podium with the bronze medal (3:02.699).
The lone other Canadian to achieve a top ten result on Saturday was Connor Howe (Canmore, AB), who placed fifth in the men’s 1500m. It was the 21-year-old’s best World Cup result in an individual race to date.
The World Cup in Poland concludes on Sunday with the second men’s 500m, women’s 1500m, men’s 1000m, women’s mass start and men’s team pursuit. Races will be streamed live on CBC Sports beginning at 8:30am ET.

“We are very happy with our race today. I think that all three of us were a bit anxious for the first team pursuit of the year. Sharing this energy with the girls, we went into the race reminding one another of the things we know we can do well together. We focused on ourselves and our own performance to best execute our race.”

– Valérie Maltais

“I am happy with my 1500m today and how I executed my race plan, especially for the first World Cup of the year. It’s a busy day tomorrow, when I will race the 1000m in the B Division in the morning, then get a few hours of rest before the team pursuit!”

– Connor Howe


Women’s 500m (2)
Heather McLean – 19th
Brooklyn McDougall – 20th
Marsha Hudey – 4th (Div. B)
Kaylin Irvine – 6th (Div. B)
Men’s 1500m
Connor Howe – 5th
Tyson Langelaar – 15th
Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 19th
Jake Weidemann – 13th (Div. B)

Women’s 1000m
Valérie Maltais – 15th
Kaylin Irvine – 19th
Maddison Pearman – 9th (Div. B)
Heather McLean – 20th (Div. B)  
Men’s Mass Start
Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 9th in Semi-Final
Jordan Belchos – 15th in Semi-Final

Women’s Team Pursuit
Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais, Isabelle Weidemann – 1st

Nicole Espenant
Speed Skating Canada

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