a long and productive season for local speed skaters Ivanie
Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann. Coming off an Olympic year,
the national team members wrapped up the 2018-2019 season
with a trio of top five results at the World Cup final in
Salt Lake City on the weekend.
followed up her silver medal performance in the mass start
event at the World Single Distance Championships in February
with a bronze medal result in Salt Lake City.
Blondin's third podium result of the season. She also placed
third in the mass start in the second World Cup event in
Japan in December, but in the end she could finish no higher
than fourth in the overall World Cup standings in the discipline
thanks to a disqualification in the mass start final in
Heerenveen, Netherlands in December.
As a result
of the DQ, Blondin failed to earn any World Cup points which
would ultimately keep her off the podium in the overall
standings. In the end, she finished 34 points behind Francesca
Lollobridgida from Italy and 76 points back of Dutch skater
Irene Schouten. The overall championship was won by Korean
also just missed making the podium in the overall World
Cup standings. She placed fourth in the long distance standings,
which combines the 3,000 and 5,000 metre distances.
starting the season with a ninth place finish in the opening
World Cup meet in Obihiro, Japan on Nov. 18, Weidemann won
her first international individual gold medal in the 3,000
metres in Tomakomai, Japan five days later.
up her gold medal performance in Japan with a silver medal
in the 5,000 metres in the third World Cup event of the
season in Poland in early December and a second silver in
the 3,000 metres in Heerenveen a week later.
into the final two World Cup events of the season, Weidemann
was solidly in second place in the overall standings. A
disappointing seventh place result in Hamar, Norway on Feb.
1, however, dropped her down to third place, three points
behind Natalia Voronina of Russian and one point ahead of
Dutch skater Esme Visser, with just the World Cup final
a lacklustre performance at the World Single Distance Championships
during which she placed seventh in the 3,000 and fourth
in the 5,000, Weidemann bounced back at the World Allround
Championships in Calgary earlier this month to place third
in the 3,000 and second in the 5,000 to place fifth overall.
her success on home soil didn't transfer over to the final
World Cup event in Salt Lake City where she placed fourth
in the 3,000 despite shaving more than three seconds off
her previous personal best in the event.
and Voronina finshed ahead of Weidemann, keeping her off
the podium and denying her an overall World Cup medal.
with a personal best time, but it’s never fun to come in
fourth,” Weidemann told reporters after the event. “I wanted
to go out today and skate aggressively, with a sense of
having nothing to lose. I feel like I’ve accomplished that."
the disappointment of not making the top three in the overall
standings, Weidemann can still look back on a season in
which she won a gold, three silver and one bronze medal.
She also made a major improvement on her 10th place finish
in the overall World Cup standings last year
a lot of big improvements this season and I’m excited to
go into the off-season and start working towards next year,”
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