Canada's Ivanie Blondin wins fifth straight World Cup gold medal

NAGANO, Japan — Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin won her fifth straight gold medal on the World Cup speedskating circuit on Saturday, this time in the 3,000-metre event.

All five of her wins have come in different disciplines — the 5,000 metres, 1,500 metres, Team Pursuit, Mass Start and, after Saturday's races in Nagano, Japan, the 3000 metres.

Blondin won in four minutes 0.243 seconds on Saturday, earning her a new track record at the M-Wave arena.

"I think that consistency, believing in myself and having the confidence to succeed are what's leading to my medals right now," said Blondin. "I sat down with my coach (Remmelt Eldering) yesterday and went through lap times, and he told me what he believed I could do, and that gave me the confidence I needed.

"It came naturally, I didn't rush anything, and I just went out there and skated my own race."

Isabelle Weidemann, also from Ottawa, skated in the final pair of the 3,000 metres against world record holder Martina Sablíkova of the Czech Republic and came away with the bronze medal.

It's the third time this season that both Canadians have stood together on the podium in an individual event.

Sablíkova sits atop the World Cup long-distance rankings, a narrow margin ahead of Blondin and Weidemann.

In the men's Team Pursuit, Calgary's Ted-Jan Bloemen, Toronto's Jordan Belchos and Winnipeg's Tyson Langelaar skated a time of 3:44.876 to earn bronze behind the teams from Russia and Japan. The Canadians finish the World Cup season ranked third overall in the event, following the same teams as Saturday's podium.

It was Langelaar's second team event medal of the weekend, having also captured bronze in the Team Sprint on Friday. He earns another result for the record books as no Canadian man had previously reached the podium in both team events during the same competition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2019.

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