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Long track speed skating: Valérie Maltais takes silver at World Cup in Stavanger

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Valérie Maltais won her third career individual medal in long track speed skating at the World Cup in Stavanger, Norway, by taking the silver medal in the women’s mass start event on Friday.

Maltais was part of the leading group of three skaters who broke away from the pack, catching 12 of the 13 other skaters in the final sprint. In the final straight, the event’s reigning world champion, Irene Schouten of the Netherlands, won the race, beating Maltais by 0.94 seconds. American Mia Kilburg-Manganello took third place, finishing 3.76 seconds behind the winner.

Maltais won the bronze medal in the event at the second World Cup of the season in Beijing, China. She won her first individual World Cup medal, a silver in the mass start, last season in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, where she also shared the podium with Ivanie Blondin, the gold medallist at the time.

After three stages, Maltais is currently at the top of the overall women’s mass start World Cup standings. In addition to her two podium finishes, she finished fourth at the first World Cup of the season in Obihiro, Japan.

Blondin, the reigning World Cup champion, was among the skaters caught up by the leaders.

The World Cup continues in Stavanger until Sunday. Among the Canadians to watch on Saturday are Laurent Dubreuil in the men’s 500m and Ted-Jan Bloemen in the 10,000m.

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