Howe earned fourth-place finish in men’s 1500m; Weidemann finishes fifth in women’s 3000m
TOMASZÓW MAZOWIECKI, POLAND – Canada’s long track speed skating team kicked off the first of two consecutive ISU World Cup Speed Skating events in Poland with a pair of fourth place results, courtesy of Connor Howe and the men’s Team Pursuit.
Howe was Canada’s top-ranked skater in an individual distance on Friday, finishing just off the podium in fourth place of the men’s 1500m with a time of 1:47.81 (+1.10). Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands was victorious in 1:46.71, ahead of Norway’s Peder Kongshaug (+0.70) and fellow countryman Patrick Roest (+0.91).
Despite not medalling this time around, Howe remains atop the World Cup standings in the distance with 227 points thanks to a gold and silver medal from earlier in the season. The 22-year-old is five points clear of his closest challenger, Nuis (222), with one event to go.
The Canmore native followed up his 1500m by teaming up with Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu and Hayden Mayeur later in the afternoon for the men’s Team Pursuit. The Canadians were in medal contention after the first half of the 8-lap race but were unable to maintain their rhythm and finished fourth, 3.21 seconds off the pace set by their pair mates, and eventual gold medalist, Norway (3:42.70). The United States (+0.05) finished a close second, while the Netherlands (+1.26) was third.
Canada ends the World Cup campaign ranked third overall in the men’s Team Pursuit (137 points) – behind the Netherlands (140) and Norway (156) – after compiling a second, fourth and fifth place finish.
On the women’s side, the long-distance trio of Isabelle Weidemann, Valérie Maltais and Ivanie Blondin all cracked the top-8 of the 3000m. Weidemann (4:08.91) was the top finisher in fifth place, while teammates Maltais (4:11.25) and Blondin (4:13.16) came seventh and eighth, respecetively.
Norway’s Ragne Wiklund won gold (4:05.96), narrowly ahead of Martina Sáblíková of Czechia (+0.08), while Marijke Groenewoud of the Netherlands (+1.22) was third.
The ISU World Cup Speed Skating from Tomaszów Mazowiecki continues Saturday with the men’s 500m and 5000m, as well as the women’s 1500m and Team Pursuit. The races will be live streamed on CBC Sports digital platforms.
“I was satisfied with my 1500m given it’s my first major race in a couple months, but think I can skate better with a bit more time on the ice and rest. In the Team Pursuit, the three of us skated well but were tired and our pace was a bit ambitious, so we lost time at the end of the race. We’ve seen that this combination can work at the World Cup in Calgary, so we’re still confident we can skate fast at World Championships.”Connor Howe
“Of course we wanted a podium finish today, but I think we all left the oval with our heads up looking forward to World Championships. We went out hard off the gun today and weren’t able to hold the speed all the way through the finish. I was pretty happy with the execution, but there are also several points I know I can improve on leading into the World Championships. The energy systems weren’t all there today to finish as strong as we wanted, but with a good couple weeks of preparation and racing left before the Netherlands, I don’t doubt that we’ll be ready to fight for that top spot everyone’s after.”Hayden Mayeur
- Carolina Hiller: 13th
- Brooklyn McDougall: 18th
- Maddison Pearman: 8th (Division B)
- Isabelle Weidemann: 5th
- Valerie Maltais: 7th
- Ivanie Blondin: 8th
- Abigail McCluskey: 3rd (Division B)
- Connor Howe: 4th
- Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu: 7th
- Tyson Langelaar: 9th
- David La Rue: 5th (Division B)
- Men’s: 4th