Canada's Christine Nesbitt, Ivanie Blondin win speedskating bronze, silver
Defending overall World Cup champion Christine Nesbitt of Canada skated to a World Cup bronze on Saturday in the women's 1,500-metre race.
The London, Ont., native clocked one minute 56.16 seconds to finish third.
"I felt like I had no glide and had to fight too much in the first 700 metres," Nesbitt said in a release. "I had no energy left for the last two laps."
Dutch skater Marrit Leenstra earned her second career speedskating World Cup with a victory in 1:55.04, edging Yekaterina Shikhova of Russia by 0.49 seconds.
Leenstra, who was second behind Nesbitt in the season-opening 1,500 race in Heerenveen, Netherlands, last weekend, leads the discipline standings with 180 points. Nesbitt is 10 points behind in second, while Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic is third with 110 points.
In the women's mass start, Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin finished second behind South Korea's Kim Bo-Reum, who won in 8:40.77. Mariska Huisman of the Netherlands was third.
"I definitively would not have been able to get the silver medal without my amazing teammates Brianne Tutt and Kali Christ," Blondin said in a release. "They were there with me the whole time and did everything they could to protect me.
"It was an exciting race from when the gun blew, to the finish," added Blondin. "You have to be very aggressive out there since there is a lot of physical contact. It's a good thing I know how to defend myself on that rink."
Huisman leads the discipline standings with 170 points with one race left in the season. Kim is second, 10 points behind. Blondin is third with 130.
On the men's side, Svet Kramer led a Dutch sweep of podium places in the 5,000-metre race at the Kolomna speedskating centre near Moscow.
The Olympic champion clocked 6:10.62 to mark his second straight victory in the discipline this season.
Jan Blokhuijsen was timed in 6:11.97 for second while Jorrit Bergsma was 2.46 seconds behind the winner in third.
Kramer leads the discipline standings with 200 points. He is followed by Blokhuijsen and Bergsma, who are tied for second with 150 points each after two podium finishes in two races.