Blondin wins World Cup title in Poland, Maltais earns career-first in Mass Start
Canadian speed skaters Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais made Canadian history this Sunday in Poland becoming the first skaters to stand side-by-side on the podium in the distance. Maltais captured the silver and Blondin the bronze in the Mass Start.
In a neck-and-neck race the pair were conquered by Momoka Horikawa of Japan who beat Maltais by a slim 0.17 seconds. Blondin snagged the third position on the podium beating Italy’s Laura Peveri by a tenth of a second.
This silver-medal victory is even more special for Maltais as it is her first career individual distance World Cup medal and her second international Mass Start podium.
“I am very happy with this podium today in the mass start,” says Maltais, “My goal from the start of the season was to make a podium in the distance.”
Blondin’s bronze places her at the top of the World Cup standings with a final score of 435 points and Maltais finished sixth with 341 points.
On Saturday, Blondin, along with Carolina Hiller, and Brooke McDougall won the silver medal in women’s team sprint.
On Friday, on the men’s side Laurent Dubreuil, Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu and Anders Johnson took home the gold in the men’s team sprint. The first-time trio demanded the lead from the outset to the end of the race to top the podium. This is the first time in five seasons that the top step was occupied by the Canadian men’s team.