Long track athletes kick-off international competition in Norway with two medals
STAVANGER, NORWAY – Canadian athletes were off to a strong start at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Norway on Friday, earning two medals on the first day of international competition in the 2022-23 season. Connor Howe raced to a silver medal in the men’s 1500m while Isabelle Weidemann took bronze in the women’s 3000m.
Canmore, Alta. native Howe captured only the third individual World Cup medal of his career with his result in the men’s 1500m. Racing in the penultimate pair, Howe put forth a time of 1:46.656. His mark was bested only by Jordan Stolz of the United States, who skated a blistering pace of 1:44.891 to set a new track record. Chinese athlete Zhongyan Ning crossed the line in 1:46.685 to take bronze.
After a successful 2022 Olympic Games, Weidemann of Ottawa, Ont. showed that she is still one of the top contenders over speed skating’s long distances. Her bronze medal in the women’s 3000m on Friday matches the result she earned in Beijing.
Skating against Norwegian home crowd favourite and gold medalist Ragne Wiklund (4:03.119), Weidemann recorded a strong time of 4:05.460. She was narrowly edged out by Irene Schouten of the Netherlands, who stopped the clock in 4:05.017 to take the second spot on the podium. Ivanie Blondin (7th) and Valérie Maltais (9th) also earned top ten results for Canada in the distance.
In the men’s team pursuit, Howe was joined by Tyson Langelaar (Winnipeg, Man.) and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke. Que.) as the Canadians skated to a fifth-place finish. The trio of middle-distance athletes had a strong start to the race but fell off the pace of eventual medalists from the USA, the Netherlands and Norway.
World Cup competition continues on Saturday with the women’s 1500m, men’s 500m, men’s 5000m and women’s team pursuit. Racing will be streamed live on CBC Sports.
I’m happy with how my race went today. I skated an aggressive first 700m but then dropped off quite a bit. With a bit more efficiency and feel of the ice, I can definitely go faster. But it’s a good start to the season and towards my goal of getting on the podium in the 1500m at World Cups and World Championships!Connor Howe
I’m happy with today’s results, but not supper satisfied with the way that I skated. I feel like I couldn’t really find the power and struggled a little bit. I raced Ragne [Wiklund] in both my races at the Olympics and it’s always fun to race against her, especially here in Stavanger where the Norwegian crowd goes pretty wild for her. I couldn’t really keep pace with her today and that kind of sucked. Overall, I’m happy with the first race and happy to get it out of the way. I’ll get back to the drawing board with Remmelt [Eldering] to help prepare for next weekend.Isabelle Weidemann
- Connor Howe – 2nd
- Tyson Langelaar – 11th
- Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 3rd (B Division)
- Carolina Hiller – 16th
- Brooklyn McDougall – 17th
- Béatrice Lamarche – 20th
- Rose Laliberté-Roy – 9th (B Division)
- Isabelle Weidemann – 3rd
- Ivanie Blondin – 7th
- Valérie Maltais – 9th
- Alexa Scott – 15th (B Division)
Men’s Team Pursuit
- Connor Howe, Tyson Langellar, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu – 5th