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Canadian speed skaters collect women’s team sprint bronze in World Cup action

Not long after missing out on an individual speed skating medal Sunday, Ivanie Blondin made certain to not end the day without a podium finish.

The Ottawa native helped Canada’s women to team sprint bronze, posting a time of one minute 28.34 seconds to hold off a Polish trio (1:29.71) in Stavanger, Norway. Maddison Pearman (Ponoka, Alta.) and Carolina Hiller (Prince George, B.C.) were the other Canadian team colleagues.

Earlier, Blondin was eighth of 12 skaters in the women’s 5,000-metre A Division final.

She was seventh in the women’s 1,500 on Saturday. Blondin, the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the mass start, was disqualified from Friday’s race with nine others after being lapped by the race leaders.

The United States earned Sunday’s competition in 1:27.92, followed by the Netherlands (1:28.17).

In other events, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., narrowly missed the medal podium in the women’s 5,000, finishing fourth in 7:05.60. Martina Sábliková of the Czech Republic broke the seven-minute barrier, clocking a winning time of 6:59.60.

Maltais grabbed silver in Saturday’s mass start, improving on her third-place finish from November in Beijing.

Maltais, 33, has enjoyed a successful start to her season, helping Canada earn gold in the lone team pursuit while also notching a fourth-place finish in the season-opening mass start in Japan.

Laura Hall of Salmon Arm, B.C., was last in the field of 12 in a time of 7:38.79.

In men’s team sprint, Canada was fifth (1:21.59) in a race won by Norway (1:19.30).

Hiller was the first Canadian on the ice Sunday, reaching the finish of the women’s 500m in 38.63 seconds for 11th of 20 athletes.

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