Richardson, Bowe and Kulizhnikov re-write history with 3 new World Records on the Fastest Ice in the World™
CALGARY, AB – The University of Calgary Olympic Oval saw a trio of World Records fall this past weekend on the Fastest Ice in the World™. The Oval played host to the first ISU World Cup event of the season with over 250 of the world’s best competing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The three new records bring the Olympic Oval’s total to 294 World Records and counting!
American Heather Richardson started the record breaking run as she posted a 1:12.51 in the Women’s 1000m event on Saturday to better the World Record mark of 1:12.58 set by her teammate Brittany Bowe set in Salt Lake City in 2013. Even more impressive, Bowe had lowered the world record mark to 1:12.54 just minutes before Richardson’s record breaking race. Not to be outdone, Bowe would then go on to shatter the Women’s 1500m World Record on Sunday as she recorded a time of 1:51.59. This was enough to break the previous record of 1:51.79 set by Canadian speed skating great Cindy Klassen in Salt Lake City nearly a decade ago.
“To claim that World Record is such an honour” said Bowe in her post race comments with the CBC “Cindy Klassen, she's a legend”
The men’s 500m race saw a thrilling finish as each of the final pairs saw the Canadians set new personal bests on their home ice. Canadian William Dutton (a U of C student in Continuing Education) and Alex Boivert-Lacroix filled out the podium in second and third place respectively but the day belonged to Russia’s Pavel Kulizhnikov who posted an amazing 34.00 to set the third new World Record of the weekend. Kulizhnikov’s historic skate bested that of another Canadian Speed Skating legend – Jeremy Wotherspoon, who’s record of 34.03 was set in back in 2007 at the Utah Oval.
The Canadian team fared well all weekend with Dutton taking home his first ever World Cup medal, a bronze in Friday’s 500m before capturing the silver in Sunday’s 500m. Ted Jan Bloemen skated a new Canadian Record in the men’s 5000m to take bronze. On Saturday, the trio of Bloemen, U of C Student Jordan Belchos (Urban Studies) and Canadian Junior Champion Ben Donnelly skated to a gold medal in the Team Pursuit. U of C students Marsha Hudey (Medicine) and Heather McLean (Arts) teamed up with Noémie Fiset of Quebec to pick up their first career World Cup A event medals with a bronze in the Women’s Team Sprint. Ivanie Blondin then claimed bronze in Sunday’s women’s Mass Start to bring Canada’s medal total for the weekend to seven. This total over one single World Cup stage is the best performance by the Canadian team since the 2009-2010 World Cup season.
The Canadian team will now join the rest of the world’s best this weekend at the Utah Olympic Oval for the second ISU World Cup of the 2015-16 season.