Canadian women’s speedskaters earn silver in World Cup team pursuit

Canadian speedskater Ivanie Blondin. (Peter Dejong/AP)

TOMAKOMAI, Japan — Canada captured the silver medal in the women’s team pursuit at the second World Cup speedskating meet of the season on Friday.

Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann teamed up with Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont., to finish second. Japan took gold and Russia settled for bronze.

"This is my first World Cup medal and it feels great to achieve it with these girls," said Morrison, whose team finished fourth at last weekend’s World Cup. "We came close last year, but this year we finally did it.

"We had a really good plan for the team pursuit at the first World Cup and tweaked a few small things this time around. We kept almost everything the same, but executed a little bit better. That made all the difference."

In the men’s team pursuit, Toronto’s Jordan Belchos, Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary and Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke Que., finished fifth for the second week in a row.

Individually, Belchos earned a spot in Saturday’s mass start final after finishing sixth in the semis. Blondin and Weidemann are in the mass start final on the women’s side.

Eleven Canadian skaters are scheduled to take the ice for racing on Saturday.

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