Canadians Irvine, Blondin earn career-bests at speedskating World Cup


Kaylin Irvine of Canada competes during a women's 1,000 metres speedskating race. (John Locher/AP)

HAMAR, Norway — Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine finished a career-best fourth place in the women’s 500-metre race on Sunday at a speedskating World Cup, while Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin placed fourth in the women’s 1,500 for her best result on the World Cup circuit in that distance.

Irvine crossed the line in 38.214 seconds, 0.13 seconds off the podium. Vanessa Herzog of Austria won gold in 37.612 and Russian skaters Angelina Golikova (37.901) and Olga Fatkulina (38.090) were second and third, respectively.

"I’m very excited and motivated by my result today," said Irvine. "I knew I had a faster start than in my first 500m, and I knew I could skater a faster lap as well because my top speed in my 1,000 yesterday felt amazing."

Blondin finished the 1,500 in 1:57.349. American Brittany Bowe (1:55.892) won the race ahead of Dutch skaters Lotte van Beek (1:56.132) and Joy Beune (1:57.151).

Blondin’s result eclipsed a previous best of sixth place earned last season in Erfurt, Germany.

"I was pleasantly surprised today with my fourth-place finish," said Blondin. "I was feeling much better today on the ice technically and physically. Definitely moving in the right direction right before World Championships next week."

In the men’s 500, Laurent Dubreuil of Levis, Que. posted a time of 35.013 to finish sixth, earning his second top 10 result of the weekend in that distance. Gilmore Junio of Calgary was seventh while Christopher Fiola of Montreal was 20th.

Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., placed 10th in the men’s 1,500. Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary was 17th.

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