INZELL, Germany—Alexandre St-Jean and Jordan Belchos were the top Canadians on the second day of the long-track speedskating World Cup in Inzell, Germany on Saturday.
St-Jean, with a ninth-place finish in the 1,000 metre in one minute 9.19 seconds, had his career-best finish in that distance.
“Overall, my race went well and it resulted in my best career rank at a 1,000-metre race,” said the 22-year-old St-Jean. “I was a little slow off the start, I could have opened it up a little bit quicker and my first lap wasn’t quick enough either. However, my second lap went well.”
“I felt good and ready to go before the race. I think I’ll be able to do even better next week in Heerenveen for the next 1,000 metres. I’m also looking forward to Sunday and the second 500 metres.”
The other Canadian who was taking part in the 1,000 metres, Vincent De Haitre of Cumberland, Ont., was 12th in 1:09.50.
Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands won the men’s 1,000-meters, clocking 1: 08.31 to beat Denis Yuskov of Russia by 0.24 seconds and Dutch teammate Kai Verbij by 0.29.
In the men’s 1,000-metre B group, Calgary’s Gilmore Junio had another good day. After winning Friday’s 500 metre race and the gold medal, Junio was first in Saturday’s B 1,000 metres with a time of 1:09.95.
In the men’s 5,000 metres, Toronto’s Jordan Belchos also came up with his best-ever performance, as he finished in 11th place with a time of 6:26.41. His best ranking in a race so far had been 14th place in February of 2013, also in Inzell.
Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands won the men’s 5,000 in 6:17.35, ahead of Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway, 2.17 back. Another Dutch skater, Arjan Stroetinga, was third, 4.31 behind.
In the women’s team pursuit, Canada, which was comprised of Ottawa athletes Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann as well as Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., finished sixth in 3:02.70.
Japan won the women’s pursuit ahead of the Netherlands and Russia.