2:30 p.m., Nov. 13)
Speed skating duo wins five medals at opening World Cup
By Fred Sherwin
native Ivanie Blondin and Cumberland's own Vincent de Haître
took an important first step in their quest for Olympic
qualification on the weekend, combining for five medals
at a World Cup meet in rhe Netherlands.
native Ivanie Blondin and Vincent de Haître
from Cumberland took an important first step
in their bid to qualify for the Winter Olympics
on the weekend. File photos
won two individual medals in the Mass Start and the 3000-metres
and combined with teammates Isabelle Wiedemann, Josie
Morrison and Keri Morrison to win a bronze medal in the
Haître finished second in the men's 1500-metres and combined
with Laurent Dubrieul and Alexandre St. Jean to capture
gold in the team sprint event.
in her specialty, the Mass Start, Blondin was nipped at
the line by Ayano Sato from Japan who won by .04 seconds.
felt strong and I felt confident, especially after recovering
from a fall like I did in the semifinal (Friday),” said
Blondin. “I was calm and collected before the race, which
was a little strange considering it was the first race
of the season and that this is also an Olympic year. My
result today shows that I'll be solid again in the mass
start this season, and that I'll be up to the task looking
ahead to the Olympics!”
third place finish in the 3000-metres is also a good sign
for the year ahead.
wasn't sure I had it in me today after skating in a total
of four races Friday and Saturday. But I had a perfect
pairing, I was skating with someone who is kind of my
mass start nemesis, Irene Schouten,” said Blondin about
the Dutch skater, who came in fifth with a time of 4:05.41.
“We both brought out each other's compete level today,"
Haître surprised everyone, including himself with a silver
medal performance in the 1500-metres. The Cumberland native
had won multiple medals in the 1000-metres in the past,
but this is his first World Cup medal at the longer distance.
is really motivating and big boost of confidence to start
the season with a World Cup podium,” said de Haître. “I'm
happy with my race. I was able to stay relaxed and to
keep putting pressure into the ice. Today was a step in
the right direction, towards the improvements and changes
I plan on making in the coming (1500m) races.”
Heerenveen World Cup is the first of four Olympic qualifying
events to be held over the next five weeks. The top five
athletes in the combined standings in each event will
automatically qualify for the Olympics in PyeongChang,
South Korea in February.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)