Road To The Olympic Games

Ivanie Blondin captures mass start silver at speed skating finals

Canada's Ivanie Blondin finished second in the women's mass start event at the speed skating World Cup finals in Minsk, Belarus on Saturday. She picked up 120 points for her silver medal to finish third in the overall mass start standings.

Ottawa native finishes 3rd in overall World Cup standings

Ivanie Blondin, seen here in an earlier race, finishes third in the overall World Cup standings of the mass start event. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press)

Canadian Ivanie Blondin captured silver in the final mass start of the season, bolstering her overall World Cup ranking to bronze on the last day of the 2018 ISU World Cup Final.

The Ottawa skater raced to a second-place finish in Sunday's mass start to jump from sixth to third in overall World Cup standings in that event with 257 points. She finished behind Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy (324) and Ayano Sato of Japan (290).

On Sunday, Sato won the event in a time of 9:23.87, followed by Blondin (9:23.92) and Lollobrigida (9:24.52).

"It's a bittersweet ending to the season. I'm really happy about my performances this weekend and today, especially finishing second and third in overall World Cup for mass start," said Blondin, who also came up with silver in overall standings of the 3,000 and 5,000 category on Saturday.

"But also makes it a little hard to swallow ending the season without any Olympic medals. I definitely have some unfinished business, which will fuel my fire for the next four years, that's for sure."

In the second and final men's 500 event this weekend, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, finished ninth in a time of 35.19.

He placed sixth overall in the World Cup ranking in the distance with 496 points, one spot lower than his best result of fifth overall in 2016. Sunday's podium was a Dutch sweep again, this time with Jan Smeekens in first (34.83), Dai Dai Ntab second (34.94) and Hein Otterspeer in third position (34.97).

The overall World Cup title was taken by Norway's Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen (716), second was Otterspeer (568) and third was Ronald Mulder (556) of the Netherlands.

"It was a great 300 meters but I had a bad entry in my last corner where I lost a lot of speed. When you make a mistake in the 500, there's not much you can do after that. I'm happy I came to Minsk to really finish the season all the way through," said Boisvert-Lacroix.

"This season, I reached my life goal which was to take part in the Olympics. I'm pretty pumped about that. I'm able to say it's by best season ever with two gold medals back to back as well. Overall, a great season and I'm happy with all that."

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