- Connor Howe won his first individual long-track World Cup speedskating medal in the men’s 1,500 metres, while Canada won gold in the women’s team pursuit.
- Nao Kodaira of Japan finished second in 36.76 seconds, while Erin Jackson of the United States took bronze in 36.92 seconds.
On Saturday at the Olympic Oval, Canada won gold in the women’s team pursuit, while Connor Howe won his first individual long-track World Cup speedskating medal in the men’s 1,500 meters.
Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa and Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que. took first place in a Canadian record time of 2:52.06 seconds.
“Doing it at home is always exciting,” Weidemann said. “We were a little nervous doing it in front of our friends and family, but I’m so proud of these girls.”
“We executed exceptionally well today, and I believe that is why we won.”
The Canadian women’s World Cup team was chasing gold for the third time in a row. Japan came in 2nd with a time of 2:52.89, while China came in third with a time of 2:58.42.
“Having each other’s backs going into the race is comforting,” Blondin said. “I was ecstatic above all else, and I knew what this team was capable of.” I also believe that we are capable of more.
“Every time we race, we get better and better, and today was such a fantastic race, and it’s just so rewarding.”
Maltais went on to say that they have a lot of faith in each other, which is why they’ve had so much success.
“I would say that was our cleanest race of the day,” she said. “That was the main point of emphasis.” I believe we kept things simple. We had figured out how to skate together.”
Howe, of nearby Canmore, Alta., finished second behind American Joey Mantia in a personal-best time of 1:42.42 earlier in the day.
“It was really exciting, especially because it was my home rink,” said Howe, who was cheered on by his parents and some friends in the stands. “It was more familiar, and I’m more confident here, so that helps.”
Howe’s performance moved him up to third place in the World Cup rankings, qualifying him to compete for Canada at the Beijing Olympics in February.
Howe was in front going into the final lap, but he lost time and had to settle for second, with Mantia taking gold in 1:41.86.
“I was a little nervous because people can pop one off on home ice, but I came away with the gold, so it was nice,” stated “Mantia, who leads the World Cup standings ahead of China’s Zhongyan Ning.
Allan Dahl Johansson of Norway took bronze in 1:43.27.
With a personal-best duration of 36.66 seconds, Angelina Golikova of Russia won gold in the women’s 500 meters. Nao Kodaira of Japan finished second in 36.76 seconds, while Erin Jackson of the United States took bronze in 36.92 seconds.
Kaylin Irvine of Calgary was 16th, and Heather McLean of Winnipeg was 17th. Golikova had won bronze in the 500 meters the day before.
Nao Kodaira of Japan won the women’s 1,000 meters in 1:12.51, ahead of Brittany Bowe of the United States (1:12.54) and Olga Fatkulina of Russia (1:13.15). In 18th place, Maltais was the best Canadian.
Albertus Hoolwerf of the Netherlands won the men’s mass start in 7:38.88. Bart Swings of Belgium came in second (7:46.36), and Felix Rijhnen of Germany came in third (7:46.49).
Jordan Belchos of Toronto was seventh, and Sherbrooke, QueAntoine . ‘s Gelinas-Beaulieu was eighth.
The three-day ISU event comes to a close on Sunday.
Source: CDC News
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