Canadian speed skaters won a pair a medals at the World Cup event in Heerenveen, Netherlands, on Sunday as Connor Howe took the gold in the men’s 1,500 metres and Isabelle Weidemann won silver in the women’s 3,000.
The 22-year-old Howe, of Canmore, Alta., skated to a time of one minute, 43.38 seconds, 0.26 ahead of Dutch world record holder Kjeld Nuis, and 0.45 ahead of bronze medallist Thomas Krol.
Fellow Canadians Tyson Langelaar (1:45.82) and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (1:45.98) finished 18th and 19th, respectively.
It’s the second gold medal for Canada at the Heerenveen stop of the World Cup after Laurent Dubreuil won the men’s 500m on Saturday.
WATCH | Victorious Howe covers 1,500 metres in 1 minute 43.38 seconds:
“With the level of skaters competing today, I would have been happy just to make the podium,” Howe said in a release. “So getting the gold felt incredible. My goal was to combine a good start with a relaxed first lap, then carry the speed, and that happened for me today.
“It’s been a great start to the season and I’m looking forward to keeping it going at the World Cups in Calgary this December.”
Sunday’s silver medal for Weidemann was her second medal of the weekend, having won silver in the women’s team sprint on Saturday.
Weidemann finished Sunday’s race in 3:57.70, second only to Dutch skater Irene Schouten, who broke her own track record with a blistering 3:54.04.
WATCH | Weidemann snags silver in the 3,000:
“I’m really happy with how it went today,” Weidemann said. “I’m very surprised with the time that I skated, because I was a little bit sick this week and I’m not feeling great, so I thought I was just going in to battle for some points.
I haven’t actually raced Irene [Schouten] in a long time, so it was nice to see where the gap is that I have to close to beat her. She is setting a standard for women in long distance events right now and I really want to push that and contend with her.”
Canadians Ivanie Blondin (3:59.82) finished fifth and Valerie Maltais (4:03.98) was 10th.