According to Brandi Awad of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Team Canada won five medals on the weekend at the International Skating Union World Cup speed skating competition in Heerenveen, Netherlands. Canada came away with medals in the men’s and women’s team pursuit on Friday, while Laurent Dubreuil of Quebec City, Quebec won a silver medal in the men’s 500 metres on Saturday, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Ontario won a silver medal in the women’s mass start on Saturday, and Heather McLean of Winnipeg, Manitoba won the bronze medal in the women’s 500 metres on Saturday.
In the women’s team pursuit, the Canadian team of Blondin, Canadian Olympic silver medalist Valerie Maltais of Quebec City, Quebec, and Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa, Ontario won the gold medal with a time of 2:56.72. The Netherlands team of Ireen Wust, Carlijn Achtereekte, and Melissa Wijfje won the silver medal with a time of 2:57.04. Ida Njatun, Marit Bohm, and Ragne Wiklund of Norway won the bronze medal with a time of 2:59.25. The Canadians reached the podium by 3.17 seconds as the Russian team of Natalia Voronina, Evgenia Lalenkova, and Elizaveta Golubeva finished in fourth place with a time of 2:59.89. Maltais won her Olympic silver medal in the women’s 3000 metre short track speed skating relay at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
In the men’s team pursuit, the Canadian team of Canadian Olympic gold medalist Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, Alberta, Jordan Belchos of Toronto, Ontario, and Connor Howe of Canmore, Alberta posted a third-place time of 3:41.71. The Netherlands team of Sven Kramer, Beau Snellink, and Chris Huizinga won the gold medal with a time of 3:40.33. Norway won the silver medal with a time of 3:41.628. The Norwegians had a team of Alan Dahl Johansson, Hallgeir Engebraten, and Sverre Lunde Pedersen. Canada reached the podium by 2.56 seconds over the Italian team of Andrea Giovannini, Michele Malfatti, and Francesco Betti, who had a fourth-place time of 3:44.27. Bloemen won the gold medal in the men’s 10000 metres at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
In the men’s 500 metres, Dubreuil posted a silver medal-winning time of 34.65 seconds. Dai Dai N’tab of the Netherlands won the gold medal with a time of 34.55 seconds. Ruslan Murashov of Russia won the bronze medal with a time of 34.67 seconds. Dubreuil reached the podium by 0.03 seconds over Piotr Michalski of Poland, who had a fourth-place time of 34.68 seconds.
In the women’s mass start, Blondin finished second behind Irene Schouten of the Netherlands. Marijke Groenewoud of the Netherlands won the bronze medal.
In the women’s 500 metres, McLean won the bronze medal with a time of 37.368 seconds. Femke Kok of the Netherlands won the gold medal with a time of 37.09 seconds. Angelina Golikova of Russia won the silver medal with a time of 37.30 seconds. McLean won her medal by two-one thousandths of a second over Olga Fatkulina of Russia, who was in fourth place with a time of 37.370 seconds. The medals for Blondin, Maltais, Weidemann, Bloemen, Belchos, Howe, Dubreuil, and McLean will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.