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Blondin wins silver, Nesbitt bronze at WC speedskating event

Associated Press

3/10/2013 5:16:29 PM

HEERENVEEN, Netherlands -- Canada's Ivanie Blondin took silver in the mass start while Christine Nesbitt skated to bronze in the 1,500 metres Sunday at a long-track speedskating World Cup event.

Ottawa's Blondin earned 15 points in the mass start. Irene Schouten of the Netherlands took gold with 33 points and Bo-Reum Kim of Korea had bronze with 11 points.

Blondin finished the World Cup season in third place overall, behind Kim and Mariska Hulsman of the Netherlands.

Nesbitt won the 1,500-metre bronze medal in one minute and 56.86 seconds. Ireen Wust of the Netherlands was first in 1:54.67 while teammate Lotte van Beek was second in 1:56.58.

Nesbitt finished second overall in the World Cup 1,500 standings with 375 points. Marrit Leenstra of the Netherlands, who struggled to eighth place Sunday, still won the overall title with 411.

Regina's Kali Christ recorded her best career ranking with a fourth place finish in 1:56.97. Winnipeggers Brittany Schussler and Cindy Klassen were 12th (1:59.03) and 15th (2:00.13), respectively.

Toronto's Jordan Belchos skated in the men's mass start, recording a fifth place finish with eight points. With 216 points for the season, he took the bronze medal in the World Cup season ranking.

Olympic champion Lee Sang-hwa of South Korea won the women's 500 metres in 37.77 seconds, beating Wang Beixing of China by one hundredth of a second. Thijsje Oenema of the Netherlands was third.

Wang ended the season third in the standings, behind Jenny Wolf of Germany who finished fourth Sunday.

Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary was 18th.

Jan Smeekens, who won the 500 title Friday, underscored his dominance by winning his sixth straight race of the season in the distance, clocking 34.83 seconds.

Joji Kato of Japan was second and Smeekens' Netherlands teammate Michel Mulder was third. Kato and Mulder also finished second and third, respectively, in the season standings.

Edmonton's Jamie Gregg was ninth,Laurent Dubreuil, of Levis, Que., was 15th and Gilmore Junio of Calgary was 18th.

Bart Swings, the Belgian former inline skater who has been one of the surprises of the speedskating season, won the men's 1,500. Zbigniew Brodka was second to top the season-ending World Cup standings, ahead of Swings and third-placed Havard Bokko.

Lucas Makowsky of Regina finished in 20th place.