Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa captured a bronze medal in the women’s 5,000m at the ISU long track speed skating World Cup in Seoul, Friday, putting her on a World Cup podium in back-to-back races.
Blondin, 24, won her first individual World Cup gold medal in a mass start race at the season opening World Cup on Nov. 16 in Obihiro, Japan. With the bronze in Seoul, she now has five individual World Cup medals overall.
Claudia Pechstein, the 42-year-old three-time Olympic 5,000m champion from Germany, won Friday's race in seven minutes, 7.77 seconds. Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic took silver in 7:13.08. Blondin was third in 7:14.53.
Blondin said she felt strong throughout the race.
“I remember thinking to myself that it wasn't too hard at the pace I was going,” she said. “And I have felt strong throughout the fall season, although I honestly didn't think I would be on the podium so soon. I would have been extremely happy with top-5 finishes.”
“I'm very happy with Ivanie's performances so far this season,” said national teams coach Mark Wild. “She came into the season motivated to improve her skating from last year. We've put emphasis on improving technique and specific strength in the skating position. We've also worked on improving her endurance.”
“We have also fostered a team philosophy in training and coaching throughout the summer and fall, and now we are seeing the benefits across the team, with some solid performances from our veteran athletes and the newcomers to the team.”
Blondin will take Saturday off and skate both the 1,000m and mass start on Sunday.
Denny Morrison fourth in the 1,500m
Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., finished fourth in the men’s 1,500m for the second straight week. His time of 1:48.38, Friday, missed the podium by .08 seconds. Alec Janssens of Chilliwack, B.C., was 18th in 1:51.30.
Two Canadian men placed in the top 10 in the 500m: Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., was seventh in 35.51 seconds, while Gilmore Junio of Calgary was ninth in 35.58. William Dutton of Humboldt, Sask., finished 17th in 35.89.
Scheduled to make his debut Saturday for Canada in the only men’s 10,000m race of the season will be Dutch-born Ted-Jan Bloemen, who received clearance from the International Skating Union to race starting this week. Bloemen, whose father was born in New Brunswick, has dual citizenship.
Also scheduled for Saturday are the second women’s 500m and 1,500m as well as the men’s 1,000m.
Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., reached his second B group podium in as many weeks on Friday, placing third in the 500m in 35.93. He was also third in the 1,000m B race in Obihiro.
Vincent de Haitre of Cumberland, Ont., was 15th in the 500m B event in 36.44 and placed 11th in the 1,500m B race in 1:51.85. Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg was 15th in 1:52.50 in the 1,500m.
Four Canadian women raced in the 500m B group. Heather McLean of Winnipeg was eighth (40.04), Alexandra Ianculescu of Toronto 10th (40.17) and Tamara Oudenaarden of Edmonton 13th (40.88). Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., was disqualified after she accidentally kicked a block.
Friday’s complete results and Saturday’s draw list are available through at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca
For live streaming of A group races at Seoul World Cup visit http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/index.html.