speed skaters shine at World Cup trials
By Fred Sherwin
de Haitre and Ivanie Blondin, two local speed skaters
with Olympic aspirations, are in mid-season form as evident
by their results at the recent World Cup trials in Calgary.
native de Haitre skated the fastest time in the world
so far this season in winning the 1500-metres on Sunday
which came on the heels of a victory in the 1000-metres
the day before.
put it in my race plan and did my best to follow it,"
de Haitre said after the race. "It gives me confidence
going into the 1500m at World Cups knowing that I finally
have a go-to strategy and that I can work forward from
and fellow Gloucester Speedskating Club alum Ivanie Blondin
won four of six women's finals over the weekend. After
winning the 5000, 3000 and 1000 earlier in the meet, she
came in first in the 1500 on Sunday despite suffering
from bursitis to an ankle.
condition kept her out of the mass start race, but as
the reigning World Single Distance champion in the event
she is prequalified for the upcoming World Cup meets in
China, Japan, Kazahkstan and the Netherlands.
feeling pretty confident, said Blondin. Up
until a week ago, I was struggling a lot with the setup
of my boots, so we had to change a lot of things. Before
trials, I was getting really nervous because I didnt
know where I was at. This is definitely reassuring for
me to know that I am posting fast times and that Im
strong. Im not fully rested yet, so thats
a positive thing to see that I am able to push through
and perform well when I need to."
third local skater, Isabelle Weidermann from Orléans,
finished second to Blondin in the 1500, 3000 and 5000
is the first really big personal best that Ive had
in a while, Weidemann said after the 1500-metre
final. I came in with a little bit more of a distance
mindset and I didnt know if I could whip out some
sprints. Ive been working a lot on my technique
with my coach and weve been focusing on my starts,
especially to improve my openers.
first World Cup event will take place in Harbin, China
on Nov. 11-13.
8:30 p.m., Oct. 24)
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