In a result that surprised no one more than himself, Laurent Dubreuil skated to a bronze medal in the men’s 1000m on Saturday at the ISU World Single Distance Championships in Salt Lake City. The medal is Dubreuil’s first in the distance on the senior world stage and represents his first podium finish at the World Championships since 2015.
“I am on Cloud Nine right now. I thought that I had the legs to give me a little chance today, but I didn’t consider myself at all a favourite. The times were fast, so the pressure was high. In the last pair, I executed exactly like I wanted. Just looking at the time I skated – more than half a second faster than my previous personal best – I couldn’t be happier to have achieved that under pressure. It caps off a fantastic season in the 1000m for me. There are still important races to come but, no matter the results from this point forward, my season has been a success.”
Skating in the final pair, Dubreuil put down a time of 1:06.730 – shaving half a second off his personal best – to sit in fourth place after his race. The native of Lévis, Que. was promoted to bronze medal position after Dutch skater Thomas Krol was disqualified for impeding another athlete.
Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia set a new World Record of 1:05.697 to take the 1000m title, while the previous record-holder, Dutchman Kjeld Nuis, took silver. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (Sherbrooke, Que.) earned himself a top-10 spot in the same distance, finishing ninth with a new personal best time of 1:07.258. Alexandre St-Jean (Quebec City, Que.) was 17th.
The men’s Team Pursuit squad – consisting of Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, Alta.), Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.) and Tyson Langelaar (Winnipeg, Man.) – finished just off the podium in fourth place. Their time of 3:38.273 put them behind the trios from the Netherlands, Japan and Russia in the results.
In the ladies 5000m, Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann, both of Ottawa, raced in the same pair to fifth and sixth place finishes. Blondin set a personal best time of 6:48.982.
Canadians Heather McLean (Winnipeg, Man.), Béatrice Lamarche (Quebec City, Que.) and Abigail McCluskey (Penticton, B.C.) ended the day ranked 19th, 21st and 24th, respectively, in the ladies 1000m. The race marked the senior World Championships debut of Lamarche and McCluskey.
The ISU World Single Distance Championships concludes on Sunday with the men’s and ladies’ 1500m and Mass Start events.