Ivanie Blondin wins mass start silver at speed skating worlds
Canada's Ivanie Blondin raced to a silver medal in the women's mass start on Saturday at the ISU World Speed Skating Championship in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
The 32-year-old from Ottawa stopped the clock after eight minutes 34.19 seconds, finishing behind Marijke Groenewoud of the Netherlands.
Groenewoud took an insurmountable lead midway through the race and finished in 8:19.36, well ahead of the field. Groenewoud's teammate Irene Schouten completed the podium, finishing a stride behind Blondin to take bronze.
"I made a mistake by thinking Marijke [Groenewoud] wasn't going to attack right away and it was kind of game over from that point forward. It's too bad because I think I could have won the title if I didn't let that happen," said Blondin.
"I'm really grateful for Val's help in this race. She allowed me to just breathe and be somewhat calm to race for second place today. Unfortunately, our tactic didn't work out as planned, but that's ok. We're learning and it will make us better for next year."
Blondin won the women's mass start world title in 2016 and 2020, adding silver medals in 2015, 2019 and 2021.
Valerie Maltais, of La Baie, Que., finished in eighth place.
Earlier Saturday, Connor Howe, of Canmore, Alta., was 15th in the men's mass start. Maddison Pearman, of Ponoka, Ont, finished the women's 1,000-metre event in 18th place.
Howe and Pearman were the only Canadians in those events.
In the men's 1,000-metre event, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu, of Sherbrooke, Que., was seventh with a time of 1:08.37, 1.62 seconds slower than the winner, 18-year-old American Jordan Stolz.
Rising star Stolz claimed his second world title of the weekend, also winning the men's 500m on Friday to become the youngest-ever speed skater to win a single distance world title.
Laurent Dubreuil, of Lévis, Que., was 11th while Ottawa's Vincent De Haître finished 23rd.
On Thursday, Canadian speed skaters won gold in the women's and men's team sprint events.
The gold rush continued on Friday when Canada's women's pursuit team secured the world title. Two silver medals came later that day in the men's pursuit and with Dubreuil in the men's 500-metres.
The competition concludes Sunday with the 1,500-metre and 10,000-metre races for men and women.
The event will be streamed live from 6:45 a.m. ET to 12 p.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, and on the free CBC Sports and CBC Gem apps.
WATCH l Canada takes gold in women's pursuit team on Saturday: