Canada continues medal haul at speed skating World Cup in Heerenveen

After nearly a year's absence from competition, Canada showed its hunger to compete, capturing gold in women's team pursuit and bronze in the men's event at a World Cup event on Saturday in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Ivanie Blondin, Laurent Dubreuil and Heather McLean all reach podium

Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa continues to garner medals at the World Cup speed skating event in the Netherlands. After capturing gold in women's team pursuit on Friday, Blondin returned to the podium Saturday with silver in the mass start. (@SSC_PVC/Twitter)

Canadians Ivanie Blondin, Laurent Dubreuil and Heather McLean captured medals Saturday at the ISU World Cup speed skating event in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

That gives Canada five medals overall at its first competition of the season.

Blondin, from Ottawa, won a silver medal in the women's mass start, finishing in eight minutes 34.460 seconds. Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., was 10th in 8:39.650.

"I'm pretty happy with a silver in just our second week back on the ice," Blondin said. "It was a pretty messy race — the girls were aggressive and there was a lot of pushing — but I ended up putting myself in a good position and I'm happy with the result."

WATCH | 2-time world champ Blondin brings her best to Heerenveen:

Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin snags silver in Mass Start women's speedskating

2 years ago
Duration 2:05
The Canadian two-time world champion brought her best to Heerenven and came away with World Cup silver.

Toronto's Jordan Belchos finished fourth in the men's mass start in 7:19.720.

Dubreuil of Levis, Que., was second in the men's 500 metres, clocking 34.650. Winnipeg's McLean was third in the women's race in 37.368.

"I feel like I made several mistakes in my execution, but I can't really complain about having a silver medal after 10 months without being able to compete," Dubreuil said. "I hadn't skated for two full months before coming here, not even outside, so this is absolutely a moral victory.

WATCH | Dubreuil rides lady luck to capture silver:

Canada's Dubreuil easily skates to 500m silver after opponent takes huge wipe out

2 years ago
Duration 2:15
Laurent Dubreuil got a little lucky as opponent Kai Verbij crashed out in front of his home fans allowing the Canadian to race unopposed to a World Cup silver.

"My goal was to get on the podium on this trip and that's already done. To be able to start my season like this makes me believe that if I have a good execution in every race I can get on the podium."

McLean was also content with securing a medal.

WATCH | Heather McLean all smiles with bronze:

Winnipeg's Heather McLean ecstatic skating to bronze in women's 500m

2 years ago
Duration 1:57
The Canadian was all smiles as she crossed the finish line to capture World Cup bronze in the Netherlands.

"I think winning this medal is a good demonstration of my mental strength," she said. "Our circumstances have been less than ideal, but I was motivated all summer and I wasn't going to let those setbacks define the rest of my season.

"I feel really proud of myself and I think mental strength played a huge part in today's performance."


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