Blondin, McDougall and Pearman hit podium in first race of World Cup season

By The Canadian Press

Canada’s Brooklyn McDougall, Ivanie Blondin and Maddison Pearman raced to silver in in the women’s team sprint Sunday as Canada finished the World Cup speedskating stop in Beijing with four medals.

In their first race together this season, Calgary’s McDougall, Ottawa’s Blondin and Pearman of Ponoka, Alta., finished the three-lap sprint in one minute 28.76 seconds.

The Netherlands won in 1:27.74 while Poland took bronze in 1:29.09.

The Canadian women’s sprint team is looking to build off a 2022-23 season that included Canada’s first-ever world title in the discipline, as well as three silver medals and a second-overall finish on the World Cup circuit.

“I’m very excited to be on the podium with the girls today,” said Pearman, who took over the spot occupied last season by Carolina Hiller.

“I haven’t done a team sprint since the fall of 2021 and I forgot just how fun they were! We had a few last-minute decisions before getting on the ice that paid off so looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Canada won three medals in Beijing on Saturday, with Blondin finishing second in the women’s mass start.

Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., took bronze in that event, while Laurent Dubreuil of Levis, Que., won silver in the men’s 500 metres.

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