speed skating canada
It was the day Team Canada won three medals at the ISU World Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands on Friday.
The Women’s Team Pursuit won the world title in unusual circumstances, while the Men’s Team Pursuit and Laurent Dubreuil won silver in the men’s 500m.
Skated by the third pair of four pairs Valerie Marttheis, Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann completed six laps of the Women’s Team Pursuit in 2:54.58. .
However, the final pairing of Holland and Japan was also very quick. Person came third in 2:57.30.
However, before the result could be designated as official, the Dutch team was disqualified and devastated the home fans at the Tialf Oval. The reason appeared to be equipment related. For safety, all skaters competing in the Team Pursuit must wear cut-resistant socks that fully cover the skin. His one of the Dutch skaters was deemed not up to the mark. Her socks reportedly slipped off during the race, exposing her ankle.
The disqualification moved the Canadian trio to gold, Japan to silver and the United States to bronze. Maltheis, Blondin and Weidemann (who won memorable Olympic gold in team pursuit at Beijing 2022) have won all three of his World Cup events this season.
Men’s team pursuit followed. Perhaps inspired by his teammates’ impressive performances, Conor Howe, Antoine Gélina Beaulieu and Hayden Mayor gave it their all to complete his eight laps around the oval. At Bellrup, fatigue set in and I was able to avoid a catastrophic fall. They crossed the line in 3:38.43, leaving two teams in first place.
One of those teams was the Netherlands, who made sure all their men had proper ankle coverage before heading to the start line. The Dutchman could not keep up with Canada’s time until passing the final lap to take the gold medal just 0.17 seconds faster. Norway won the bronze in 3:40.93.
Silver medals for Howe, Gelina Beaulieu and Mayor matched their best results on the World Cup circuit this season. They finished second in Calgary in December.
It’s time for the sprinters to step into the limelight. Laurent Dubreuil competed as the reigning world champion in the men’s 500m. Skating in the penultimate pairing, he showed strength from the start. However, he and Japan’s Wataru Morishige appeared to have tied for a bit towards the finish. His 34.46 time puts the Canadian in his first place at the moment.
But then Dubreuil could only see American Jordan Stolz come within 0.03 of his track record, as the 18-year-old won gold in 34.10 seconds. As Stolz, who became the youngest-ever winner of a world distance championship, passed by, Dubreuil applauded speed for the newest star of his skating scene.
Friday’s medals follow Thursday’s world titles in the women’s and men’s team sprint events, which are not part of the Olympic programme. Blondin teamed up with her McDougal and Carolina Hiller from Brooklyn to win the gold medal in the women’s race for the United States by 0.29 seconds behind her. Dubreuil, Gélina Beaulieu and Christopher Fiora beat the Dutch by 0.41 seconds behind her. It was Canada’s first World Championship medal in the men’s team sprint.
The ISU World Speed Skating Championships will continue until Sunday.