Ted-Jan Bloemen of Team Canada on the ice in Calgary.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Ted-Jan Bloemen, Graeme Fish skate to 10,000m podium on final day of World Single Distance Championships

Canada added two more medals on Sunday at the ISU 2024 World Single Distance Long Track Speed Skating Championships being held at the Olympic Ice Oval in Calgary, bringing the nation’s total to 10 at the event, an all-time record for Team Canada.

Closing out the World Championships with the fourth and final day of competition, Ted-Jan Bloemen and Graeme Fish skated onto the podium in the men’s 10,000m event, claiming silver and bronze behind Italy’s Davide Ghiotto, who defended his world title.

Bloemen, 37, came away with the second fastest time of the day, skating the distance on his hometown ice in 12 minutes, 47.01 seconds, while Fish came in just behind with a time of 12:48.61.

“It was a struggle for me today. Of course, I’m happy to come away with the silver medal. I think it’s a testament to all the hard work I put in and the mentality I have going into my races, which is to never give up,” Bloemen said post-race.

“I really tried this season to peak in Salt Lake City and try to go for a 5,000m world record and then peak again at the World Championships here. In hindsight, I feel like maybe that was a little bit too ambitious. I’m proud that I tried to do both and took the risk. I like to dream big and go for greatness. So mixed feelings about this race.”

For Bloemen, the World Championship silver medal on Sunday is just the latest addition to a career that has seen him thrive over the distance, winning the event at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games and capturing two previous medals in the event at past World Championships.

Fish, meanwhile, won the distance at the 2020 World Championship in Salt Lake City, USA.

Blondin captures third medal of World Championships in mass start

Ahead of the final day of competition, Ivanie Blondin skated to silver in the women’s mass start final for her third medal of the Championships on Saturday. Her time of 8:23.81 placed her between a pair of Dutch skaters on the podium. Irene Schouten (8:23.71) and Marijke Groenewoud (8:24.01) of the Netherlands finished first and third, respectively. 

In the last race of day three Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu secured a silver medal for Canada in the men’s mass start final with a time of 8:40.70. Belgian Bart Swings (8:40.67) won the gold medal and Swiss Livio Wenger (8:40.77) rounded out the podium with bronze.

In other results, Laurent Dubreuil finished 0.99 seconds off the podium in fourth position during the men’s 1000m final. The top Canadian skater in the women’s 1000m final was Maddison Pearman, finishing 16th overall. 

Action at the World Single Distance Championships continues in Calgary until Sunday. 

Team pursuit trios and Laurent Dubreuil on the podium

Canada won three medals on Friday at the ISU 2024 World Single Distance Long Track Speed Skating Championships.

Valérie Maltais, Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann won silver in the women’s team pursuit event, while Connor Howe, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu and Hayden Mayeur took bronze in the men’s event. Laurent Dubreuil rounded off Canada’s successful day by winning silver in the men’s 500m.

In the team pursuit, the Canadians, skating in the third of the four pairs, completed the six laps of the ice oval in a time of 2 minutes 54.03 seconds, a performance that was nevertheless better than the reference time of 2:51.20 set by the Dutch, who skated in the first pair. In action in the last pair, the Japanese stopped the clock at 2:54.89, good enough for third place on the podium.

The trio of Maltais, Blondin and Weidemann were attempting to defend the title they won at last year’s World Championships, when the Canadians were promoted to the top step of the podium following the disqualification of the Dutch team due to a safety issue involving a piece of equipment.

On the World Cup this season, the Canadians had to deal with the absence of Weidemann for one of the three team pursuit events on the circuit and finished second overall, behind the Japanese.

It was a second silver medal in as many days for Weidemann, who was on the podium in the women’s 3000m on Friday.

For their part, the Canadians formed the first of the four pairs to start. Their time of 3 minutes 36.72 for the eight laps remained the fastest performance of the day until the last pair. The Italians won in 3:35.00, followed by silver medallists Norway in 3:36.07.

It was a second consecutive World Single Distance medal for the trio of Howe, Gélinas-Beaulieu and Mayeur, who won silver last year in Heerenveen.

In action in the last pair of the final event of the day, Dubreuil won silver in the 500m for the second consecutive World Single Distance Championships, finishing as he did last year behind American phenomenon Jordan Stolz, who this time skated alongside him.

Dubreuil clocked 33.95 seconds, second only to the 19-year-old American, who lowered the Calgary oval record to 33.69. Poland’s Damian Zurek took bronze with a time of 34.11.

Weidemann wins 3000m silver

Isabelle Weidemann put Canada on the podium in the very first event of the 2024 ISU World Speed Skating Single Distances Championships in Calgary.

Skating in the fourth pairing of the women’s 3000m at the Olympic Oval, Weidemann put down a time of 3 minutes 58.01 seconds. That stood up through five more pairings until Dutch star Irene Schouten was almost a second faster. In the final pairing with another Canadian, Valérie Maltais, Schouten recorded a time of 3:57.10 to take the gold medal and bump Weidemann to the second step of the podium. Schouten is the reigning Olympic champion in all of the long distance events — 3000m, 5000m, and the mass start.

Czech legend Martina Sablikova won her 25th career medal at the World Single Distances Championships, taking the bronze in 3:58.33. All of those medals have come in the 3000m and 5000m events. Ivanie Blondin finished in sixth place in 4:03.14 while Maltais ended up in 10th place in 4:06.17.

  • Isabelle Weidemann rounds a corner in a speed skating race
  • Isabelle Weidemann sticks out her tongue at the end of a speed skating race

This is Weidemann’s fourth career medal at the World Single Distances Championships, but her first in an individual event. She owns a medal of each colour in the team pursuit. Weidemann won Olympic bronze in the 3000m at Beijing 2022 where she was Canada’s first medallist of those Games. She went on to win silver in the 5000m.

Weidemann came into these worlds without having reached the podium in any individual World Cup races this season. She had opted out of two World Cup stops in December to focus her energy on preparing for these world championships — a decision that clearly paid off.

Weidemann, Blondin, and Maltais will be back on the ice on Friday for the team pursuit. The trio are the reigning world and Olympic champions. That session will also include the men’s 500m in which Laurent Dubreuil will aim for the podium. The women’s 5000m will be one of the final events at the worlds on Sunday.

Also on Thursday, Canada swept the two team sprint events for the second consecutive World Championships.

Anders Johnson, Laurent Dubreuil and Gélinas-Beaulieu set a world record in the men’s event, stopping the clock at 1:17.173. This performance was 2 thousandths of a second better than the world record set by the Dutch in the previous pair. The Norwegians took bronze in 1:17.31.

In the women’s event, Carolina Hiller, Maddison Pearman and Ivanie Blondin took victory with a time of 1:25.14 to finish 0.90 seconds ahead of the Americans. Poland (1:26.63) completed the podium.

The team sprint events are not on the Olympic programme.