INZELL, Germany — Canada's Ivanie Blondin won the silver medal in the women's mass start on Sunday at the ISU world single distance championships.
The Ottawa native pulled away during the last lap of the race — recovering from a 10th-lap collision that took fellow Canadian Valerie Maltais out of contention — but Blonin was passed in the final stretch, finishing in second place in eight minutes 28.460 seconds.
Blondin earned 40 sprint points for the second-place finish. Irene Schouten of the Netherlands (8:27.840 and 60 sprint points) won gold and Russia's Elizaveta Kazelina (8:29.290 and 20 sprint points) took bronze.
"I'm pretty ecstatic about the result today," said Blondin. "I sacrificed my 1,500-metre race (Sunday) to save my legs for the final sprint. I was able to start the final sprint a bit earlier and create a gap, so I'm really happy with my decision and race plan."
It was Blondin's third medal in the mass start since the discipline was introduced in 2015. She was crowned world champion in 2016 and won silver in 2015.
She has also won 24 mass start medals on the World Cup circuit — five gold, 11 silver and eight bronze.
Maltais, of Saguenay, Que., had to bow out of the race after the collision and finished in 23rd place.
Jess Neufeld of Winnipeg was 24th in the men's mass start.
Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., skated his fastest time of the season on Sunday to earn an eighth-place finish in the men's 1,500. It was his best individual result on the world championship stage, surpassing his previous best of 21st in the 1,000 set earlier this week.
"Even thought my 1,000 went well, I knew I was going to have a better performance (Sunday) if I could repeat the same speed from practice, but in a more relaxed way," said Gelinas-Beaulieu. "The goal was to breath well and the rest would come.
"I executed the plan tremendously, and although I recognize that I have a lot of work left to do, my first top 10 at a world championship validates the hard work that I have put in and shows that I've found the right training and recovery formula."
Connor Howe of Canmore, Alta., making his world championship debut, finished the distance ranked 22nd. Thomas Krol of the Netherlands won gold ahead of silver medallist Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway and bronze medallist Denis Yuskov of Russia.
In the ladies 1,500, Maltais was 15th and Kali Christ of Regina was 21st. Dutch skater Ireen Wust won gold with a new track record, Miho Takagi of Japan took silver and Brittany Bowe of the United States earned bronze.
The Canadian Press
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