Road To The Olympic Games

Speed Skating

3 Canadians crack top 10 at speed skating world championships

Canadians Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Graeme Fish earned top 10 results on Saturday at the ISU world single distance championships in Inzell, Germany.

Isabelle Weidemann narrowly misses the podium in the 5,000 metre event

Canada's Isabelle Weidemann was the top Canadian in the women's 5000m race, finishing in fourth place, at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Inzell, Germany. (Lukas Barth-Tuttas/EPA-EFE)

Canadians Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Graeme Fish earned top 10 results on Saturday at the ISU world single distance championships in Inzell, Germany.

Weidemann of Ottawa, finished the ladies' 5,000-metre race in fourth-place, skating a personal best of six minutes 56.133 seconds to earn the highest world championship result of her career.

She was in bronze medal position going into the final pairing of the day but was bumped off the podium by world record holder Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic, who set a track record (6:44.854) on her way to a gold medal.

Esmee Visser of the Netherlands was second (6:46.143) and Natalia Voronina of Russia third (6:50.393). Blondin, of Ottawa, was sixth.

"I'm happy with a small personal best and a fourth-place finish today," said Weidemann. "I'm not 100 per cent satisfied with my execution, but I feel as though I've made some big improvements from last year. My lap times weren't as consistent as I would have liked them, and that probably cost me some seconds.

"The women's field was extremely fast, and of course I would have liked to be more of a contender. I'm excited to get back to work this summer to try and close the gap."

Fish of Moose Jaw, Sask., eclipsed his previous personal best in the men's 10,000. His mark of 13:05.698 earned him a seventh-place finish.

"For me, this was one of the best races I've ever skated," said Fish. "Technically, I skated really well. I was able to hold the technique for 23 of the 25 laps and it really helped me stay focused for the whole race."

Dutch skaters Jorrit Bergsma (12:52.928) and Patrick Roest (12:53.343) won gold and silver, respectively. Russian Danila Semerikov (2:57.400) was third.

In other Canadian results, Heather McLean of Winnipeg was 12th in the women's 1,000 while Laurent Dubreuil of Levis, Que., finished in 13th in the same distance on the men's side.

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