3:30 p.m., Feb. 23)
speed skater finishes 7th at World Junior Championships
By Fred Sherwin
Blondin (centre) takes a break from the competition in Zakopane, Poland with teammates
Sarah Gregg and Brianne Tutt. Photo provided
considered to be one of the best young short track speed skaters in Canada, Orléans
native Ivanie Blondin is quickly making a case to be considered as one of the
best all-around speed skaters in the country after finishing 7th at the World
Junior Long Track Speed Skating Championships in Zakopane, Poland on the weekend.
than a month after becoming the first Canadian female to qualify for both the
World Junior long track and short track championships in the same year, Blondin
continued raise a few eyebrows in Poland by posting the top result among the Canadian
women in three of the four events.
placed 10th in the 1500, 14th in the 1000 and fifth in the 3000. Her weakest event
was the 500, in which she finished 24th in the first heat and 13th in the second
race for a combined 15th place result.
was really happy I finished 10th in the 1500, but not so happy with my time,
Blondin said in a e-mail message to Orleans Online. I was really
nervous and I started off really hard. I used both my arms through the whole race,
which I shouldnt have done. I really wanted to go for it and in the last
lap I died off a little bit. I could have done a little better."
3000 was incredible. At about the third or fourth lap I saw that my pace dropped
down a bit, so I picked it up right away and finished really hard. At one point
in the race the sun broke through the clouds for about a lap and I remember thinking
'I feel so good'. Everything was so smooth."
the meet, the 19-year-old was invited to join the national develop.m.ent team and
will now split her training between the natonal short track develop.m.ent program
in Montreal and the long track program which is based in Calgary.
am so happy with my junior year. Competing at both the World Junior championships
is a huge accomplishment for me and I am really happy about that, said Blondin.
"I wont get double funding, but I will get both skin suits and trips for
trials and training camps. I'm so happy with everything."
the two disciplines are both competed on speed skates, they are as different as
apples and oranges. First of all, as the name implies, long track is done on a
much bigger oval, usually outdoors, while short track meets almost always take
place in hockey arenas.
short track is a tactical race with five or six skaters competing at the same
time off a mass start. In long track the competitors are skating against the clock
in pairs, but on opposite sides of the oval.
has been competing in short track since she was a young girl. As a member of the
Gloucester Concordes she quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the best
junior skaters in Canada. She qualified for her first World Junior Championship
at 14 and made the Senior National Develop.m.ent team at 16. In 2007, she competed
in her first World Cup event.
went to B.C. for the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships earlier this month
to see how she stacked up against the country's best junior long track specialists
and ended up finishing second overall which earned her a birth on the World Junior
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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