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Canada’s Ivanie Blondin wins silver in mass start speed skating at Beijing Olympics

Canada's Ivanie Blondin celebrates her silver medal in the women's mass start speedskating final at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Saturday, February 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

Canada’s Ivanie Blondin won the silver medal in the women’s mass start speed skating final at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday.

The 31-year-old from Ottawa, who won her semifinal heat, was strong throughout the gruelling 16-lap race and managed to pull to the front for the final laps.

She looked like she was going to cross the finish line first, only for Irene Schouten of the Netherlands to overtake her in the final seconds to claim the gold by a toe.

Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida won the bronze.

Fellow Canadian Valerie Maltais came in sixth place in the final.

Blondin is a two-time world champion in the mass start, which made its Olympic debut at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang where she crashed in the semifinals.

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The silver is the second medal of the 2022 Winter Games for Blondin, who won gold in the team event earlier in the week along with Maltais and Isabelle Weidemann.

In the men’s mass start on Saturday, Jordan Belchos finished in 13th place while fellow Canadian Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu came in 15th overall.

Canada has now won 25 medals in Beijing — four gold, eight silver and 13 bronze — the third-highest haul of the 2022 Games.

 

 

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