Canadian speed skater Weidemann scores 1st career World Cup gold
Ivanie Blondin nabs 3rd medal of the weekend; Canadian men win bronze in team sprint
Canada's Isabelle Weidemann notched a career first on Sunday in Tomakomai, Japan, taking gold in the 3,000-metre World Cup event.
It's the 23-year-old skater's first individual medal on the World Cup circuit and she did it in grand style — setting a track record time of four minutes 10.18 seconds in the endurance event.
Weidemann's performance was a full 2.82 seconds faster than silver medallist Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic. Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida was third.
"I'm super excited with my first medal," said the Ottawa native. "It's been a long time coming. I've had a lot of fourth places, so I'm really happy to come out with a win.
Watch Weidmann capture her 1st individual gold:
"I skated faster here than in Calgary [4:11 when she won the Canadian championship] earlier this season. But I trained outside [on the oval at Brewer Park in Ottawa] when I was little, so this feels like home."
Blondin finished eighth in the 3,000 with a time of 4:18.906.
Weidemann and Blondin sit third and sixth, respectively, in the overall World Cup rankings for the distance after two events.
Jordan Belchos of Toronto placed 13th in the men's 5,000 while Calgary's Ted-Jan Bloemen was 16th.
Canada lands on both sprint podiums
The Canadian men's and women's team sprint squads will both leave Japan with bronze medals after their performances on Sunday.
Laurent Dubreuil, Christopher Fiola, and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu won their medals in a time of 1:24.230, just behind the 1:23.540 set by the winning Russian squad.
"I felt like the race in itself was very scary," said Gélinas-Beaulieu in reference to the ice conditions. "Overall, a really good race. I think we had each others back all race long and I think we can do even better at the next one."
Watch the men's performance:
Kaylin Irvine, Heather McLean, and Blondin clinched their podium place with a time of 1:32.81.
Watch the women's team skate to bronze:
"I'm really proud of how our team came together, especially Ivanie regrouping after her 3,000m," McLean told Speed Skating Canada. "I thought we worked well as a team."
The performance marked the third medal of the weekend for Blondin, who scored individual bronze in the mass start and silver with Weidemann and Keri Morrison in the team pursuit.
In other results Sunday:
- Kaylin Irvin: 20th in the women's 1,000 in 1:21.622.
- Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu: 13th in the men's 1,000 (1:12.443).
- Laurent Dubreuil: 16th in men's 1,000 (1:13.311).
- Heather McLean: 2nd in women's 1,000 (B Division) in 1:20.181.
- Keri Morrison: 15th in women's 3,000 in 4:24.565 (B Division).
- David La Rue: 11th in men's 1,000 in 1:12.682 (B Division).
- Christopher Fiola: 21st in men's 1,000 in 1:13.310 (B Division).
With files from The Canadian Press