Graeme Fish Sets New 10,000m World Record En Route to Championships Title

 

Bloemen places second in the 10K; ladies Team Pursuit skates to bronze

SALT LAKE CITY, USA - Graeme Fish is on top of the world, having captured a gold medal in the 10,000m at the ISU World Single Distance Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City on Friday. In the process, he set a new World Record with a time of 12:33.868, besting teammate Ted-Jan Bloemen’s mark from 2015. Bloemen earned a medal of his own in the distance – a silver – while the ladies Team Pursuit skated to bronze.
 
Fish, a 22-year-old native of Moose Jaw, Sask. who is only in his second full year on the international circuit, skated flat lap times – hovering between 29.5 and 30.3 seconds – throughout his 25 tours around the oval. The blistering pace put his time almost two and a half seconds under the existing World Record and twelve seconds faster than his previous personal best. Fish also makes his mark on history as the first non-Dutch skater to be crowned 10,000m World Champion.
 
Bloemen (Calgary, Alta.) skated in the final pair of the 10,000m against Dutch long-distance specialist Patrick Roest and held on to finish second with a time of 12:45.010, ahead of Patrick Beckert of Germany.
 
Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann and Valérie Maltais set a new Canadian Record of 2:53.628 in the ladies Team Pursuit, finishing only behind the teams from Japan and the Netherlands to capture the bronze medal. The Japanese women set a new World Record with their golden time of 2:50.766.
 
It is the first career ISU World Single Distance Championships medal for both Weidemann and Maltais, and Blondin’s first in the Team Pursuit. Their time breaks the Canadian Record mark set in 2009 by Christine Nesbitt, Kristina Groves and Brittany Schussler.
 
Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.) earned the highest result in the 500m for the Canadian team, placing sixth with a time of 34.123. Gilmore Junio (Calgary, Alta.) and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, Que.) finished 11th and 17th respectively in the men’s event, while Heather McLean (Winnipeg, Man.) and Marsha Hudey (White City, Sask.) skated to 14th and 20th place rankings.
 
The ISU World Single Distance Championships continue on Saturday with the ladies’ 5000m, men’s Team Pursuit and the 1000m distance for both genders. Races will be streamed live on CBC Sports beginning at 2:30 pm ET.

QUOTES

“This is an unbelievable feeling. I knew during that race that I had an opportunity to go for it [the World Record], but I’m so glad I was able to make it happen. Ted was so supportive of me after the race, and I got to hug my mom and dad right after. Everyone has been congratulating me. It was my day today.”

– Graeme Fish

“It feels pretty incredible to get a first World Championships medal with these teammates. It’s been a long time coming; we’ve had a lot of fourth place finishes in the Team Pursuits. We’ve worked really hard to get here. We knew we had to skate well today and go out there to do what we can do. I’m really proud of this team and how far we’ve come.”

– Ivanie Blondin

“It was a privilege to go into the race today knowing that we were able to reach the podium. We had high expectations. Once we get on the line, we know what we have to do. I’m more nervous when I’m getting myself ready and then the stress comes down as I go to the line with these girls. I just think ‘OK, we’ve got this!’”

– Valérie Maltais