Blondin, Weidemann, Maltais win team pursuit gold at speed skating World Cup

The Canadian women's speed skating team remained undefeated in team pursuit on the World Cup circuit, racing to gold Saturday in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland.

Canadian teammate Laurent Dubreuil picks up silver in men's 500 metres in Poland

The Canadian women's skaters lean down low to gather speed.
Canada's Isabelle Weidemann, right, Valerie Maltais, centre, and Ivanie Blondin, seen above in December, won gold at a speed skating World Cup stop in Poland on Saturday. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Canada captured two medals on the second day of competition at the World Cup speedskating event in Poland on Saturday.

The Canadians ended the day in style with the trio of Ivanie Blondin, Isabelle Weidemann and Valerie Maltais winning the gold medal in the team pursuit.

The three Canadians, Olympic champions in the same discipline at 2022 Beijing Games, took the lead on the third of the 12 laps of the event and were never caught.

They finished the race with a time of three minutes and 0.97 seconds. The Netherlands took silver in 3:01.74, while the United States claimed bronze in 3:04.01.

With the victory, the Canadian team secured its fourth consecutive overall World Cup title in the distance.

Despite the golden performance, Weidemann says the team still has some bugs to work out before the world championships, March 2-5, in Heerenveen.

"It's a few years in a row now that we have been able to bring home the overall title, which we are proud of as a team. We have one more race at the world championships and obviously that is the big one," said Weidemann. "We felt smooth and powerful today, but there are always things to work on and we are missing a bit of speed. So we are hoping to rest over the next few weeks and go into the world championships stronger and a little bit more snappy."

The other Canadian medal of the day went to Laurent Dubreuil, who won silver in the 500 metres with a time of 34.87 seconds. Dubreuil slipped between a pair of Japanese skaters — Wataru Morishige, who raced to gold in 34.78 seconds, and Yuma Murakami, who finished third in 35.03.

The silver was Dubreuil's fifth consecutive podium finish in the 500, having so far captured two gold, two silver and a bronze.

The 30-year-old sits atop the World Cup rankings with 276 points, 42 points ahead of his closest challenger Murakami.

"A second place is good. I beat all the other guys easily, but to beat Morishige it would have taken a race where I skate better and was more efficient in my technique," Dubreuil said. "I am happy with the silver medal and to keep my place in the overall rankings. There is only one race left and it shouldn't be difficult to win the overall title, which was one of my goals for the season."

Dubreuil will try to add another medal on Sunday in the men's 1,000. He won silver in that event at the Beijing Olympics.

The athletes return tomorrow at 9 a.m. ET for the final day of the fifth World Cup leg, and will be back in Poland for the sixth and final stop next weekend.

Watch live coverage on, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem for iOS and Android devices.

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