Blondin, Dubreuil both claim silver medals at ISU World Cup speedskating competition

·2 min read

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands — Canadians Ivanie Blondin, Laurent Dubreuil and Heather McLean captured medals Saturday at the ISU World Cup speedskating event.

That gives Canada five medals overall at its first World Cup competition of the season.

Blondin, of Ottawa, won a silver medal in the women's mass start, finishing in eight minutes 34.460 seconds. Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., was 10th in 8:39.650.

“I'm pretty happy with a silver in just our second week back on the ice," Blondin said. "It was a pretty messy race – the girls were aggressive and there was a lot of pushing – but I ended up putting myself in a good position and I’m happy with the result.”

Toronto's Jordan Belchos finished fourth in the men's mass start in 7:19.720.

Dubreuil, of Levis, Que., was second in the men's 500-metre event, posting a time of 34.650 seconds. McLean, of Winnipeg, was third in the women's race in 37.368.

"I feel like I made several mistakes in my execution, but I can't really complain about having a silver medal after 10 months without being able to compete," Dubreuil said. "I hadn't skated for two full months before coming here, not even outside, so this is absolutely a moral victory.

"My goal was to get on the podium on this trip and that’s already done. To be able to start my season like this makes me believe that if I have a good execution in every race I can get on the podium."

McLean was also content with securing a medal.

"I think winning this medal is a good demonstration of my mental strength," she said. "Our circumstances have been less than ideal, but I was motivated all summer and I wasn't going to let those setbacks define the rest of my season.

"I feel really proud of myself and I think mental strength played a huge part in today’s performance."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press