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Blondin captures Mass Start title; Dubreuil’s silver medal boosts him to third in the 500m

Laurent Dubreuil celebrates his second place finish in the men’s 500m at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating Final in Heerenveen on Sunday. 
Credit: International Skating Union

HEEREVEEN, THE NETHERLANDS – On the last day of the international speed skating season, Ivanie Blondin and Laurent Dubreuil wrapped up seasons filled with career highlights by finishing on the overall podiums in the ladies Mass Start and men’s 500m. 

Despite finishing fifth in Sunday’s Mass Start race, Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.) had amassed enough points on the World Cup circuit this season to retain the overall title. Her four gold medals in the distance contributed to a total of 548 points and provided a comfortable cushion ahead of Dutch skater Irene Schouten (492) and Nana Takagi of Japan (442).

Concluding an outstanding two weeks for Dubreuil, the Lévis, Que. native skated a time of 34.304 in the second men’s 500m of the weekend to briefly establish a new track record for the Thialf arena. In the next pair, however, he was bested by Tatsuya Shinhama of Japan who took the gold medal in 34.070. Shinhama’s teammate Yamato Matsui rounded out the podium.

A pair of 500m silver medals at the World Cup Final was enough to vault Dubreuil from seventh to third in the overall standings for the distance. His total of 420 points followed only those of Shinhama (483) and Russian Viktor Mushtakov (433). 

Tyson Langelaar (Winnipeg, Man.) earned the only other Canadian top-five result on Sunday, finishing fourth in the men’s 1500m behind a Dutch trio of skaters. The result is his best ever on the World Cup circuit and boosted him to sixth overall in the season classification.

To cap off the long track season, two Canadian teams participated in a demonstration Mixed Gender Relay event at the conclusion of the World Cup Final. Each skating three laps and exchanging a total of three times, a male and female skater work together to establish the fastest time. Blondin and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu finished third, and Isabelle Weidemann and Graeme Fish seventh, in the test event.

“Going into the Mass Start, I knew that I was sitting very comfortable with points and just had to finish the race to capture the title. It was a strange race, but sometimes at World Cup Final, people try things differently because they have nothing to lose! And the Mixed Gender Relay was so fun to skate with Antoine [Gélinas-Beaulieu]. It’s been a great season for me, so even though I didn’t have a lot of energy today and was missing a bit of steam, that’s to be a bit expected with how many races I’ve done this year! I’m so proud of how our whole team has done this year and am definitely looking forward to the off season when I’ll be driving to Ottawa with my boyfriend and dog to visit with family and explore the country.” – Ivanie Blondin

“I had a great race today. To finish second again, with the racing at an even higher calibre than yesterday and with the second fastest time ever skated at sea level, is an incredible accomplishment for me. The guys put down lightning fast times one after another, so I really relished the feeling after my race, before Shinhama had the perfect skate. I couldn’t have even imagined to finish third overall; I was seventh arriving at this competition! I knew that it would take quite the race to make the podium and it was great to make that happen. Looking ahead to the summer, I will be working on my power to improve my starts and aim to win more races next season.” – Laurent Dubreuil

ADDITIONAL CANADIAN RESULTS Kaylin Irvine (Calgary, Alta.) – 7th in 500m (8th overall)Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.) – 8th in Mass Start (6th overall)Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, Que.) – 8th in 500m (10th overall)Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.) – 9th in 1500m (8th overall)Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, Que.) – 11th in 1500m (10th overall)Gilmore Junio (Calgary, Alta.) – 11th in 500m (11th overall)Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.) – 13th in Mass Start (20th overall)
Nicole Espenant
Speed Skating Canada
613-797-1630 RESOURCES