Ottawa native captures sixth career World Championship medal in the distance; earns third podium of the weekend
HEERENVEEN, NETHERLANDS – Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin sprinted to a silver medal in the women’s Mass Start at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen on Saturday, winning Canada’s sixth medal of the competition.
Backed by a rabid hometown crowd, Dutch skater Marijke Groenewoud broke away from the field during the fifth lap and successfully held on to the lead for the remainder of the race, crossing the finish line nearly a half-lap ahead of her closest competitors to secure the World Championship title.
With Groenewoud so far ahead, the rest of the field skated strategically as they prepared for a final sprint that would determine the two remaining spots on the podium.
When the bell wrang to signal the start of the final lap, Canada’s Blondin sprung out from fifth place and used a inside line to overtake American Mia Kilburg and Italy’s Laura Peveri, before finding another gear to breeze past Dutch rival Irene Schouten in the final straight.
Groenewoud’s final time was 8:19.36, while Blondin and Schouten crossed the finish line in 8:34.19 and 8:34.37, respectively. The win was the second of Groenewoud’s young career, having also won gold in 2021.
For her part, Blondin, their reigning Olympic silver medalist, has reached the World Championship podium six times since the distance was introduced in 2015, winning gold in 2016 and 2020, as well as silver in 2015, 2019, 2021 and 2023. She also finished the most recent World Cup campaign ranked first overall after winning one gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
The ISU World Speed Skating Championships conclude on Sunday with the men’s 1500m and 10,000m, as well as the women’s 1500m and 5000m. The races will be live streamed on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports digital platforms, with Olympians Anastasia Bucsis and François-Olivier Roberge providing colour commentary in English and French, respectively.
“I made a mistake by thinking Marijke wasn’t going to attack right away and it was kind of game over from that point forward. It’s too bad because I think I could have won the title if I didn’t let that happen. I’m really grateful for Val’s help in this race. She allowed me to just breathe and be somewhat calm to race for second place today. Unfortunately, our tactic didn’t work out as planned, but that’s ok. We’re learning and it will make us better for next year.”Ivanie Blondin
- Women’s Mass Start
- Ivanie Blondin: 2nd
- Valérie Maltais: 8th
- Women’s 1000m
- Maddison Pearman: 18th
- Men’s Mass Start
- Connor Howe: 15th
- Men’s 1000m
- Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu: 7th
- Laurent Dubreuil: 11th
- Vincent De Haître: 23rd