Erfurt, Germany (from Speed Skating Canada) – Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary won the bronze medal in the men’s 5000m held on Saturday, coming up with his fourth podium finish in as many races in that distance on this season’s World Cup circuit.
Bloemen, who holds the world record in that distance he set earlier this season in Salt Lake City, skated Saturday’s race in 6:17.11, a little more than two seconds away from the winner, Norway’s Sverre Lunde Pedersen (6:14.66). Italy’s Nicola Tumolero (6:16.11) collected silver.
Jordan Belchos (6:33.79) from Toronto and Ben Donnelly (6:38.28) from Oshawa, ON, respectively finished 15th and 16th.
“I’m really happy with my execution and the way this race turned out,” said Bloemen, who has been coached by Bart Schouten along with Belchos over the last four years and with Donnelly for the last year. “I executed my plan really well and came up with a really consistent race.”
“We’ve been in Germany for only two days and we still have tired legs, having trained a lot over the past few weeks, so it was a really challenging race for me. But I still managed to pick up a bronze medal, so overall I’m pretty happy and this was a really good preparation for the Olympics,” added Bloemen, alluding to the training camp they took part in before this World Cup stage and that is part of a phase leading towards their optimal preparation for the PyeongChang Games.
1500m: Blondin’s best performance this season
In the women’s 1500m, Ivanie Blondin from Ottawa came up with her best performance this season at the international level in this distance, as she finished in sixth place.
Blondin, who has also been coached by Schouten over the last two years, skated to a time of 1:57.62. Brianne Tutt, from Airdrie, AB, who is coached by Xiuli Wang, was 11th (1:58.21).
Dutch skaters Ireen Wust (1:55.66) and Marrit Leenstra (1:55.75) took the first two spots, followed by Norway’s Ida Njåtun (1:56.66).
“I’m really happy with my result today,” said Ivanie Blondin. “I was really focused on what I needed to do and execute to have a good race, and I didn’t think too much about how my body was feeling coming into this race. We had a training camp in Phoenix beforehand and did a lot of cycling and we weren’t on the ice very long, so I wasn’t expecting a very good result this weekend.”
“All that considered, I’m really happy with this result and where I’m at right now in terms of preparation for the Games. I think that right now, for this weekend, it’s more of a mental game. My body might not be feeling super great, but I have the right mindset and I am positive. As part of my final preparation, I approach these races this weekend like I would at the Olympics and I think I really nailed that today. I’m really looking forward to the 3000m tomorrow and to seeing what I’ll be able to do there.”
De Haître once again 10th
In the men’s 1000m, Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, ON, and Alexandre St-Jean from Québec City, QC, respectively finished 10th and 12th.
De Haître registered a time of 1:09.51 and St-Jean, of 1:09.83, while the winner, Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands, skated the race in 1:08.57. His teammate Hein Otterspeed (1:08.96) was second, followed by Finland’s Mika Poutala (1:08.99).
“Another 10th-place finish, so overall it’s pretty good,” said De Haître, who has also been coached by Bart Schouten over the last four years, while Gregor Jelonek has coached Alexandre St-Jean for the last five years.
“But I think there’s definitely room for improvement. My start was technically what I wanted it to be, it’s just that I felt a little fatigue in the legs. I’m just missing a little bit of top speed and finishing speed, so that’s definitively something we’ll be working on over the next few weeks. I’m fairly happy with how I feel on my skates, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully making those small adjustments to see where that will take me.”
In the men’s 5000m B group race, Denny Morrison from Fort St. John, B.C., who has been coached by Schouten for the last eight seasons, took 9th place with a time of 6:32.10.
Sunday, on the last day of the stage in Germany, the second men’s 500m and 1000m races will be held, as well as the women’s 3000m.
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
5000m – M
BRONZE – Ted-Jan Bloemen (6:17.11)
15. Jordan Belchos (6:33.79)
16. Ben Donnelly (6:38.28)
1500m – W
6. Ivanie Blondin (1:57.62)
11. Brianne Tutt (1:58.21)
1000m – M
10. Vincent De Haître (1:09.51)
12. Alexandre St-Jean (1:09.83)
5000m (B) – M
9. Denny Morrison (6:32.10)