Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais captured second gold medal of the season
CALGARY, ALBERTA – Canada won a pair of gold medals on the second day of ISU World Cup Speed Skating action in Calgary, courtesy of Laurent Dubreuil and the women’s Team Pursuit squad of Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais.
Dubreuil captured his second consecutive World Cup gold medal in the men’s 500m, overcoming a slower than usual start to finish atop the podium.
The 30-year-old from Lévis, Que., was fifth after a 9.58 second opener, but gained speed in the corners and put together an impressive race given the circumstances. His time of 34.017 was his fastest of the World Cup season and put him ahead of Japan’s Tatsuya Shinhama (+0.17) and Korea’s Jun-Ho Kim (+0.18).
Dubreuil sits comfortably atop the World Cup rankings with 174 points after three events, ahead of friend and rival Yuma Murakami (143).
Canada returned to the podium later in the afternoon when the reigning Olympic champions earned their second women’s Team Pursuit gold medal of the season.
Weidemann, Blondin and Maltais – who haven’t skated together as a trio since the season’s first World Cup in Norway – crossed the line in 2:54.492, over three seconds quicker than second-place Japan (+3.18) and third-place United States (+3.46).
It marked the second consecutive season the three Canadians captured gold on home ice at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.
The ISU World Cup Speed Skating concludes tomorrow at the Calgary Olympic Oval, where medals will be handed out in the men’s and women’s 1000m and Mass Start. Tickets are still available at www.speedskating.ca.
I feel like every medal I win now is kind of a bonus on top of an already good career. I am the best I’ve ever been and think I can still get better. The field this season isn’t as strong as last year, partly because the Russians aren’t here, and they are good at the sprints. I feel like if I have a good race, it’s mine to win. Some people might say that causes more pressure, but I think it’s less pressure because I know I can do it. This mindset allows me to be calm on the line and not strive for perfection, but just for a good race.Laurent Dubreuil
I think we were really smooth today. We were smooth right off the start, and we were all together as well, which we struggled with a bit [at the World Cup] in Norway. We haven’t skated together in a long time, so we’re still trying to figure things out a bit, but it’s getting more and more smooth and powerful.Isabelle Weidemann
Our first race in Norway wasn’t as clean of a race as we had not skated together in a while. We had a good training together when we arrived in Calgary on Tuesday and things were so much better today. I think we’re starting to figure it out. Even if we’re not training together this season, we’ve trained together for so long that it’s easy to come back. Even if we’re not training together, we’re not changing the way that we are skating.Valérie Maltais
- Ivanie Blondin: 6th
- Béatrice Lamarche: 14th
- Isabelle Weidemann: 1st (B Division)
- Alexa Scott: 6th (B division)
- Alison Desmarais: 17th (B Division)
- Laurent Dubreuil: 1st
- Christopher Fiola: 13th
- Frank Roth: 5th (B Division)
- Anders Johnson: 11th (B Division)
- Cédrick Brunet: 14th (B Division)
- Graeme Fish: 10th
- Ted-Jan Bloemen: 15th (DQ)
- Connor Howe: 11th (B Division)
- Jordan Belchos: 12th (B Division)
- Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu: 14th (B Division)
Women’s Team Pursuit
- Canada: 1st