Ivanie Blondin wins World Cup gold in women's 3,000m
Sherbrooke, Que., native Alex Boisvert-Lacroix captures bronze in men's 500
Ivanie Blondin topped the field in the women's 3,000-metre race at the World Cup event on Sunday in Erfurt, Germany.
The Ottawa native clocked in a time of three minutes 59.47 seconds, edging out Antoinette de Jong of the Netherlands by 0.59 seconds.
Martina Sáblíková was third with a time of 4:05.91.
The victory was Blondin's first and her fourth individual medal on the circuit this season. She also leads the women's 3000 overall standings.
"Well, I definitely wasn't expecting that!" said Blondin. "This whole week, I've had a really calm mindset. I just did what I had to do and focused on the right things. It allowed me to perform really well today. I didn't panic, I just went out there and did the best that I possibly could today."
"The result was more than what I expected and I'm really happy about that. It was a great race, super steady, I was a little bit conservative in the beginning and I think that helped me maintain the right pace today on this ice."
Boisvert-Lacroix earns bronze
Earlier in the day, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix kicked things off for Canada with a bronze in the men's 500. The Sherbrooke, Que., native's time of 35.00 seconds was just 0.15 seconds off the pace of Norway's Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen, who took home gold.
Jan Smeekens of the Netherlands captured silver with a time of 34.95 seconds.
"I couldn't be happier about my podium finish today, especially after a disappointing race on Friday," said Boisvert-Lacroix. "I came up with a great race. Today, I felt much better after doing absolutely nothing yesterday, which allowed me to recover from jet lag and the travelling we did a few days ago."
"My only goal today was to skate a much better race technically. I applied myself very well, especially in the first turn. The big difference compared to Friday was the way I skated technically."
Fellow Canadians Gilmore Junio, Laurent Dubreuil, and Alexandre St-Jean finished 10th, 15th, and 16th, respectively.
"My coach told me that I could have won the race. Over the last few metres, I tensed up when I felt the Norwegian skater in my pair gain some ground on me. But these are adjustments we will make before the Games," said Boisvert-Lacroix.
Canada was shutout of the medals in the men's 1000 with Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, Ont., being the top Canadian with a seventh place finish.
St-Jean followed right behind his teammate in eighth while Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was 11th.