Canada’s Olympic speedskaters advance to semifinals

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Canada's Olympic speedskaters advance to semifinals

BEIJING –

Canada’s speed skaters Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valerie Maltais advanced to the semifinals of the women’s team pursuit at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday.

They set the second-fastest time in the quarterfinals, behind Japan, who finished in an Olympic record of two minutes and 53.61 seconds.

The Canadians were 0.36 behind the Japanese.

The Netherlands and Russia finished third and fourth in Tuesday’s semi-finals, followed by the final the same evening.

Ottawa’s Weidemann is chasing a third medal in Beijing after silver over 5,000 meters and bronze over 3,000 meters.

The team pursuit, in which three runners per country go head-to-head against another team and against the clock, made its Olympic debut in Torino 2006.

The Canadian team of Kristina Groves, Clara Hughes, Christine Nesbitt, Cindy Klassen and Shannon Rempel won silver together this year. Canada has not won a medal in the women’s team pursuit since those Games.

Blondin, Weidemann and Josie Morrison finished fourth four years ago in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 12, 2022.