Canada's Ivanie Blondin rules women's mass start at speed skating World Cup

Ivanie Blondin rebounded in a big way with a first-place finish in Sunday's mass start, just 24 hours after a 12th-place performance in the women's 1,500 metres at a speed skating event in Minsk, Belarus.

The Ottawa native sprinted past arch rival and reigning world champion Irene Schouten of the Netherlands in the final straight, posting a time of eight minutes 22.63 seconds.

"Into the final turn, I pulled a short track move on her," Blondin told Speed Skating Canada. "I went wide going into the turn and then really tight coming out of the turn and was able to pass her in the last 100 metres."

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The two-time Olympian noted she had the "perfect opportunity" to tuck behind Schouten with two laps remaining.

WATCH | Blondin skates to mass start gold:

"I was very patient throughout the entire race and near the finish," said Blondin. "Usually it's the other way around … so it was nice to get that draft."

26 World Cup medals

Schouten clocked 8:22.71 while Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy was third in the field of 16 in 8:23.57.

Blondin, 29, has earned one gold medal and two silver in the mass start at the world single distance championships since the 2012-13 campaign, plus six gold, 11 silver and nine bronze on the World Cup circuit.

On Friday, Blondin finished third in the 3,000 —  her 37th World Cup medal in events with Olympic status — in a race won by teammate Isabelle Weidemann. They finished fifth and fourth, respectively, in last year's overall standings for long distances.

Blondin won a pair of gold medals a month ago at the Canadian long track championships in Calgary, capturing the women's 1,500 and mass start on the last day of competition.

Other Canadian results:

  • Laurent Dubreuil, fresh off Saturday's ninth-place effort in the 1,000, won the B Division 500 in 35.371 seconds.

  • Tyson Langelaar of Winnipeg was second in the B Division 1,500 i n1:48.449, meaning he and Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., will compete in the A Division next week in Poland.

  • Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., failed to advance to the mass start final after placing 10th in her semifinal.

The second of five ISU World Cup events begins Nov. 22 in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland, and will be live streamed at CBCSports.ca.

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