Winnipegger Heather McLean wins third World Cup speed skating medal of the season

Hong Zhang and Jing Yu of China along with Winnipegger Heather McLean pose during the medal ceremony following the women's 500m race at the ISU Speed Skating World Cup in Stavanger, Norway. Christof Koepsel / Getty Images

Winnipeg’s Heather McLean continued her successful speed skating season on Saturday by capturing a bronze medal in an ISU Speed Skating World Cup event in Stavanger, Norway.

The 23-year-old finished third in the women’s 500-metre race with a time of 38.02 seconds. She crossed the finish line behind China’s Jing Yu (37.63) and Hong Zhang (37.82). McLean was fifth in the weekend’s first 500-metre race on Friday, seven-hundredths of a second off the podium

The medal marks McLean’s third of her World Cup career. McLean won her first ever individual medal last month by placing third in the women’s 500-metre race in Inzell, Germany. She collected her first ever World Cup medal, a bronze in the women’s team sprint, earlier in the season in Calgary.

“I didn’t want the first time I earned a medal this season to be just a fluke so I’m happy to get another one this season,” said McLean in a news release. “It’s good to know that I was able to take what I did wrong in (Friday’s) race and make it better in today’s race. So as long as I can keep that mindset going into the World Single Distance Championships, no matter what happens it’ll be a success in my mind.”

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Joining McLean in Kolomna, Russia next month at the world championship is fellow Winnipegger Shannon Rempel. The 31-year-old claimed the final spot available in the women’s 500-metre race by logging the fastest combined time at this weekend’s World Cup event. Rempel finished fifth on Friday with a time of 38.99 seconds prior to her 39.04 second place showing on Saturday.

“It’s been an interesting season so far,” said Rempel in a news release. “I’m happy to see how things are going so far and this is big stepping stone right now for me to qualify for the World Single Distance Championships.”

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