Canada's Ivanie Blondin back on mass start podium with World Cup bronze

Canada's Ivanie Blondin got the best of a pair of Dutch skaters in the women's mass start at the season-opening World Cup in Norway earlier in November. But Irene Schouten and Marijke Groenewoud made sure that didn't happen on home ice in Heerenveen on Friday.

Dutch skaters Schouten, Groenewoud take top 2 spots on home ice in Heerenveen

Canada's Ivanie Blondin, seen above in March, skated to bronze in the women's mass start at a speed skating World Cup on Friday in the Netherlands. (Peter Dejong/The Associated Press)

Canada's Ivanie Blondin got the best of a pair of Dutch skaters in the women's mass start at the season-opening World Cup in Norway earlier in November.

But Irene Schouten and Marijke Groenewoud made sure that didn't happen on home ice in Heerenveen on Friday.

The trio once again comprised the podium, but this time the order was reversed as Schouten, the Olympic champion, took gold, while Groenewoud repeated with silver and Blondin grabbed bronze.

Schouten made an early move to separate herself from the pack, and with no signs of slowing down the gold medal was all but assured with multiple laps remaining. She stopped the clock in eight minutes 30.34 seconds.

It left Blondin and Groenewoud battling for silver, with both biding their time to make a move. The race turned into a sprint, with the skaters taking off at the outset of the final lap.

And it ultimately came down to less than a skate's length, with the Canadian's final time of 8:48.57 just two-hundredths of a second behind Groenewoud's 8:48.55.

WATCH | Blondin takes bronze in World Cup mass start:

Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin settles for World Cup mass start bronze in a photo finish

17 days ago
Duration 14:50
Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin won a bronze medal in the women's mass start at the ISU World Cup event in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Blondin's time of 8:48.57 was just two-hundredths of a second behind Dutch skater Marijke Groenewoud's time of 8:48.55.

"At the end of the day, a podium is a podium and I'm pretty happy with that. The Dutch girls had a great gameplan going into the race, continuing to attack until one of them got away," Blondin said.

"For me, it was a bit more challenging to try and win it today as I was racing alone, so to speak. I still tried for the final sprint and it was really close between Marijke [Groenewoud] and I, but she just edged me out in the last metres."

Canadian Valerie Maltais placed fifth at 8:49.26.

Blondin, the 32-year-old Ottawa native, won silver in the event at the 2022 Beijing Olympics to go along with seven other mass start medals last season.

Live action from the Heerenveen World Cup continues on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. ET on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

Earlier, Blondin placed 10th in the 1,000 metres, with fellow Canadian Alexa Scott in 18th. The Netherlands' Jutta Leerdam won gold. 

In the men's 1,000m, Canadians Connor Howe and Laurent Dubreuil placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Howe also grabbed fifth in the men's mass start.

"It gives me some confidence moving forward. When I didn't make the final last weekend, I learned some things about being aggressive and positioning myself. Today, it was a lot of fun being right in the action during the final sprint," Howe said.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now