Canadian speedskaters Blondin, Dubreuil earn World Cup silver

·1 min read

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands — Ottawa speedskater Ivanie Blondin claimed a World Cup silver medal in the women's mass start in a tight finish with reigning Olympic champion Irene Schouten of the Netherlands.

Laurent Dubreuil of Levis, Que., also earned a silver medal in the men's 500 metres Saturday.

Schouten and Blondin finished one-two for a second straight week with Schouten edging Blondin by a toe in Heerenveen.

Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida was third in the 16-lap race featuring the short-track elements of all competitors taking off simultaneously from the start line and skaters jostling for position throughout the race.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has shrunk the World Cup speedskating season to two events in Heerenveen ahead of the Feb. 11-14 world championship at the same oval.

Dubreuil placed second in 34.520 seconds behind winner Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia in 34.475.

Kulizhnikov's teammate Artem Arefyev and Dai Dai Ntab of the Netherlands tied for third with identical times of 34.588.

Dutchwoman Femke Kok took the women's 500 metres. Winnipeg's Heather McLean placed fifth just under three-tenths of a second off the podium.

Dutch men swept the men's 1,500 metres with Thomas Krol, Kjeld Nuis and Patrick Roest finishing first to third respectively. Connor Howe of Canmore, Alta., placed seventh.

Dutchman Jorrit Bergsma won the men's mass start ahead of runner-up Bart Swings of Germany and bronze medallist Livio Wenger of Switzerland. Toronto's Jordan Belchos was eighth.

American Brittany Bowe won the women's 1,500 metres with Antoinette de Jong and Ireen Wust of the Netherlands second and third respectively.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press