Vincent De Haître of Cumberland won a silver medal in the 1,000 metres of the ISU World Cup Final of speed skating on Saturday and clinched second overall in the standings in that event after the final race of the season at Stavanger, Norway.
“The 1,000m was the target for this weekend”, said De Haître, whose time was one minute 9.28 seconds.
De Haître also placed fifth in the team pursuit with Calgary’s Ted-Jan Bloemen and Toronto’s Jordan Belchos.
“It’s a big challenge to do the team pursuit along with my usual races and I wanted to be up for it,” added De Haître, who on Sunday will skate in the 1,500 metres and the team sprint. “Unfortunately, I was the weaker skater (Saturday), but I’m happy with it and with the way we performed as team. It was hard work. With less than one hour rest before the 1,000 metres, I was a little worried with my ability to skate fast, but I put my mind on cruise control. I went into the race with a relaxed and positive mindset and proved my resilience as an athlete.”
During a season that included a World Cup gold and a silver in the 2017 World Single Distance Championships, De Haître improved his World Cup overall standing from ninth last season.
Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands won the 1,000 metres on Saturday with his time of 1:08.76, while third place went to Germany’s Nico Ihle (1:09.42).
Bloemen won the silver medal in the 5,000 metres Saturday with a time of 4:18.46, and he also bumped himself up to second in the overall standings.
“That was definitely finishing the season on a high,” said Bloemen, who last season was fourth overall. “I’m really happy with that race. I had to prove something to myself after world championships and not being on the podium there. Today, I just did a really solid race, flat lap times and good discipline. Maybe I went a little too late in the end. As the last two laps were very fast, you would think there was a little more time in there if I went earlier, but I’m really happy with a silver medal and a second place overall. I got a really cool plate!”
Marsha Hudey (38.39 seconds) of White City, Sask., finished fifth in the first of two women’s 500-metre events this weekend. Noa Kodaira (37.14) of Japan was first. Quebec skater Laurent Dubreuil was 11th and ninth in the men’s 500 and 1,000 metres, respectively
Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin (4:07.85) placed sixth in the women’s 3,000 metres, improving her overall World Cup ranking one spot to eighth.
Sunday’s races mark the end of the 2016-17 World Cup speed skating season for both men and women.
Event Date: 3/11/2017