Canadian Olympic gold medalist Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Ontario won the gold medal on Thursday in a women’s mass start World Cup speed skating event in Obihiro, Japan. It was the first World Cup speed skating event of the long track season.
Blondin, who won the gold medal in the women’s team pursuit at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, alongside Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Quebec and Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa, won her ninth career World Cup gold medal in the women’s mass start. Esther Kiel of the Netherlands won the silver medal and Mia Kilburg-Manganello of the United States won the bronze medal.
It was one of two medals won by Blondin in Japan on the weekend. She also teamed up with Weidemann and Maltais to win silver in the women’s team pursuit on Friday. Canada had a second place time of 2:59.25. Japan won the gold medal with a time of 2:58.03. The Netherlands won the bronze medal with a time of 3:01.29. Canada reached the podium by 5.34 seconds over Poland, which had a fourth place time of 3:04.59. The medals won by Blondin, Maltais, and Weidemann, will give them confidence as they prepare for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo.