Bloemen wins 10,000m bronze, Canada wraps speed skating worlds with 7 medals
Veteran Ted-Jan Bloemen raced to bronze in the men's 10,000-metre event on Sunday for Canada's seventh and final medal at the ISU World Speed Skating Championship in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
The 36-year-old Bloemen, who once competed as a Dutch athlete, completed the 25-lap race in 13 minutes 01.84 seconds, enough to secure third place at Thialf Ice Rink.
"It was an emotional World Championships for me," Bloemen said in a release. His disappointment with finishing 15th of 18 athletes in the men's 5,000-metre race on Thursday left his "emotions running high" during the competition.
"I never really hit the ice well in Heerenveen and that's why my 5,000m went completely wrong. After that, I tried to analyze things and fix my mistakes, but I was a bit short on time.
"I was panicking a bit today and my emotions were running high, but I had the courage to show up and fight to keep the lap times fairly flat and fight all the way through the end. I was pretty relieved and proud of myself that I made this happen."
Davide Ghiotto set a personal best of 12:41.35 to take gold and become the first Italian to win a speed skating world title. Dutch skater Jorrit Bergsma was 14.29 slower than Ghiotto to earn silver.
An Olympic champion in the same event in 2018 Pyeongchang, Bloemen was joined by fellow Canadian Graeme Fish, of Moose Jaw, Sask., in the top5. Fish finished with a time of 13:03.51 to take fifth place.
Bloemen, who earned the silver medal in the same event in 2016 and 2020, is already targeting a change of colour in next year's worlds, set to take place in Calgary, where he lives, from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18.
"It was very lovely to come home with a medal at the end of the day and get rewarded for the courage and the fight that I put up," Bloemen said. "But I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't show my true form and full potential. I guess I'll just have to work hard for another year and show it next World Championships at home in Calgary."
Bloemen missed half of the World Cup events this season, sitting out in two occasions due to the birth of his son and being penalized for a double false start in one of the two Calgary stops in December.
Weidemann, Blondin fall short of podium
Canadian speed skaters almost secured more medals on Sunday.
Ottawa's Isabelle Weidemann was second in the women's 5,000-metre event before the final pairing. Netherland's Irene Schouten and Norway's Ragne Wiklund then took the track to secure gold and silver, respectively.
Schouten set a track record of 6:41.25 en route to capturing her second world title in the event.
Martina Sáblíková of the Czech Republic went 1.16 seconds faster than fourth-place Weidemann to win bronze. Valerie Maltais, of Saguenay, Que., was eighth.
Ivanie Blondin, who also hails from Ottawa, finished 0.32 shy of a podium finish in the women's 1,500-metre.
Fellow Canadians Béatrice Lamarche, of Quebec City, and Maddison Pearman, of Ponoka, Alta., finished in the 12th and 16th places, respectively.
Canadians Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu, of Sherbrooke, Que., (seventh), Connor Howe, of Canmore, Alta., (tenth) and Winnipeg's Tyson Langelaar (13th) competed in the men's 1,500-metre, an event won by 18-year-old American Jordan Stolz.
The rising star took the tournament by storm by becoming the first male speed skater to clinch a hat-trick of individual single distances titles in the same world championship, having previously raced to victory in the men's 500-metre and 1,000-metre events.
Canada earns 7 medals in 4 days
Other than Bloemen bronze on Sunday, Canada secured three gold medals and three silver.
On Thursday, Canadian speed skaters won gold in the women's and men's team sprint events.
The gold rush continued on Friday when Canada's women's pursuit team secured the world title. Two silver medals came later that day in the men's pursuit and with Dubreuil in the men's 500-metres.
Blondin raced to a silver medal in the women's mass start on Saturday.
WATCH l Canada takes gold in women's team pursuit on Friday: