Canada’s Ted-Jan Bloemen is trending in the right direction.
The 2018 Olympic silver medallist won gold in the men’s 5,000-metre race at the single distance speed skating world championships on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Bloemen, the 33-year-old Calgary native, outdid 2018 champion Sven Kramer of the Netherlands by 0.54 seconds, clocking in at six minutes 4.375 seconds.
Kramer’s second-place time of 6:04.918 outdid Canadian bronze medallist Graeme Fish, who skated a personal best time of 6:06.328.
The 22-year-old Fish, from Moose Jaw, Sask., made his A-final debut in the 10,000 at the Kazakhstan World Cup in December and won bronze.
Canada’s Jordan Belchos also notched a personal best by finishing fifth at 6:12.071.
Bloemen entered the world championships coming off his first individual World Cup medal this season, a silver in the men’s 5,000 in Calgary. He’ll look to return to the podium Saturday in the 10,000 — his gold-medal event from Pyeongchang.
🚨 (DOUBLE) MEDAL ALERT! 🚨<br><br>Ted-Jan Bloemen wins 🥇 gold and is crowned Canada’s first-ever 5000m world champion at WSD Championships in Salt Lake City! Teammate Graeme Fish reaches the podium in the same distance after winning 🥉bronze! <a href=”https://t.co/3HHIyayfaM”>pic.twitter.com/3HHIyayfaM</a>
“Going into the season, I made this race really important for myself,” Bloemen said. “Working toward the Olympics in two years is so far away, so you’ve got to set goals along the way. This oval for me is really special. I skated two world records here and I thought that might be a possibility again today.”
In the team sprint, Gilmore Junio (Calgary), Laurent Dubreuil (Levis, Que.), Alexandre St-Jean (Quebec City) and Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, Que.) were disqualified after initially appearing to win the race. The Netherlands took gold, followed by China and Norway.
Canada also boasted three skaters in the women’s 3,000, but failed to land on the podium. Ivanie Blondin’s personal-best time of 6:12.071 placed her sixth, while Isabelle Weidemann was 10th (4:01.345) and Valerie Maltais finished 12th (4:02.136).
Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic finished first, followed by Carlijn Achtereekte of the Netherlands and Natalia Voronina of Russia.
The Canadian women did not qualify for the team pursuit final.