Canadian long track speed skater Laurent Dubreuil was seventh in overall standings, Saturday, after taking part in the first of two 500m and 1000m races to be held over the weekend at the World Sprint Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.
In the 500m, his specialty, Dubreuil from Lévis, QC, skated to his second-best time of the season at the international level, 34.89 seconds, to finish behind Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia (34.56) and Dutch skater Michel Mulder (34.84).
Then, in the 1000m, Dubreuil clocked a time of 1:10.28 for the 13th spot.
“In the 500m, I had a real good start and I really took advantage of my pairing in the second straight,” said Dubreuil, who was in the last pairing of the event with Dutch skater Jein Otterspeer. “I’m happy about my time, my second best lifetime except for races on the very fast surfaces in Calgary and Salt Lake City.
“However, my 1000m didn’t go as well,” noted Dubreuil. “In training over the last few weeks, I focused on the 500m to prepare for the World Single Distance Championships, and it was pretty obvious during my last lap in the 1000m!”
Following the first 500m and 1000m events, Dubreuil found himself 92 hundredths of a second away from the provisional overall leader, Kulizhnikov.
“My goal is to finish in the top-5 overall, so seventh is a bit less than I was hoping for,” said Dubreuil. “But I’m still in the hunt and I’ll try to improve on my ranking tomorrow (Sunday).”
Saturday’s top-3 finish was Dubreuil’s sixth such result in 12 races in the 500m event so far this season at the international level. He earned three bronze medals and one silver in that distance on the World Cup circuit, in addition to finishing second in the second of two 500m races held at the World Single Distance Championships, which allowed him to collect a bronze medal at that competition.
With one more day of competition to go, Dubreuil has already improved on his result from last year’s World Sprint Championships held in Nagano, Japan, where he earned a fourth-place finish in the men’s 500m. He ended up ninth in overall standings.
Also in Saturday’s 500m, Junio (Calgary, AB) was 11th in 35.22 while Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) was 17th in 35.42.
In the men’s 1000m, Dubreuil was 13th in 1:10.28, followed by Junio, 27th in 1:11.74 and Jamie Gregg, 29th in 1:11.75.
In overall standings, Junio was 22nd, 1.98 seconds behind Kulizhnikov, and Jamie Gregg was 24th, 2.18 seconds back.
The World Sprint Championship titles will be awarded on the basis of overall standings following Saturday’s 500m and 1000m races, in addition to Sunday’s 500m and 1000m events. The Canadian team will try to find a spot on the podium in overall standings for the first time since 2008 in the men’s competition (Jeremy Wotherspoon, silver), and for the first time since 2012 on the women’s side (Christine Nesbitt, silver).
Personal bests for Marsha Hudey and Jessica Gregg
On the women’s side, Jessica Gregg (Edmonton, AB), Marsha Hudey (White City, SK) and Heather McLean (Winnipeg, MN) were respectively 19th, 20th and 24th after two races in provisional overall standings.
Gregg, who made the transition from short track to long track speed skating over the summer, finished 19th in the women’s 1000m, with a time of 1:19.58. Hudey was 20th in 1:19.94, a personal best at the international level this season, and McLean, 25th in 1:21.56.
In the women’s 500m, Hudey was 18th in 39.39, Gregg 20th in 39.48, a personal best at the international level, and McLean, 22nd in 39.52.
Saturday’s races will be broadcast as of 4 pm (ET) today on CBCsports.ca and the CBC network. Sunday’s 500m and 1000m races will be broadcast on CBCsports.ca starting at 1 pm, followed by the network broadcast at 2 pm.
More information, including the complete schedule, can be found on Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS:
18. Marsha Hudey (39.39)
20. Jessica Gregg (39.48)
22. Heather McLean (39.52)
3. Laurent Dubreuil (34.89)
11. Gilmore Junio (35.22)
17. Jamie Gregg (35.42)
19. Jessica Gregg (1:19.58)
20. Marsha Hudey (1:19.94)
25. Heather McLean (1:21.56)
13. Laurent Dubreuil (1:10.28)
27. Gilmore Junio (1:11.74)
29. Jamie Gregg (1:11.75)
Overall standings (after Day 1) – W
19. Jessica Gregg
20. Marsha Hudey
24. Heather McLean
Overall standings (after Day 1) – M
7. Laurent Dubreuil
22. Gilmore Junio
24. Jamie Gregg
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 13,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.
SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.
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Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897