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Canadians earn 2 World cup speed skating medals

11/23/2014 11:20 EST | Updated 01/23/2015 05:59 EST
Two Canadian long track speed skaters collected a pair of medals Sunday at the World Cup event in Seoul, South Korea.

Laurent Dubreuil, of Lévis, Que., earned his first career World Cup medal, taking bronze in the men’s 500 metres with a time of 35.35 seconds.

Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin continued her strong season after capturing bronze in the women’s mass start. The third-placed finish followed up her victory in the mass start last week in in Obihiro, Japan. Blondin also earned a bronze in the 5,000m event on Friday.

Russia’s Pavel Kultzhinikov won the men’s 500m gold in 35.18. He was followed by South Korea's Mo Tae-Bum (35.32) and Dubreuil.

“I felt really good during my race and I knew, when I saw my time, that my chances of being on the podium were good,” said the 22-year-old Dubreuil. “The wait after my skate was long and stressful, because there were still five pairs left to the competition. But I'm extremely happy with third place and that my time was good enough to hold up for bronze!”

Czech Martina Sablikova won the women’s mass start in 7:42.96. Irene Schouten of the Netherlands (7:45.05) took silver, just edging Blondin (7:45.06). The 24-year-old Canadian skater has six career individual World Cup medals.

“I felt pretty confident going into the race,” said Blondin. “It was just a matter of placing myself in the right position and draft as much as I could. I'm extremely happy with a bronze medal.”

Dubreuil said winning his first World Cup medal took longer that he thought.

“The road to get to where I am today was long and hard, but I think that it's this difficult journey that is at the root of today's success,” said Dubreuil, who won the 2012 world junior title in the 500m. “I'm now better and stronger because of the challenges that I've faced as an athlete, and also as a person.”

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