Canada captured three medals on the final day of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Calgary, as Laurent Dubreuil, Ivanie Blondin and the men’s Teams Pursuit squad of Ted-Jan Bloemen, Jordan Belchos and Connor Howe all reached the podium at the Olympic Oval.
Dubreuil capped of his incredible World Cup season by winning an eighth consecutive 500m medal on Sunday. After setting a new Canadian record on Friday, the 29-year old skated to a bronze medal in the last 500m race of the season, posting a time of 34.064 to finish behind Japan’s Yuma Murakami (33.991) and Russia’s Viktor Mushtakov (33.903).
Meanwhile, fellow 500m competitor Alex Boisvert-Lacroix capped off his World Cup career with the fourth fastest time of his career (34.203), earning him a seventh-place finish. The 34-year old Sherbrooke native competed at 42 long track World Cups, as well as five in short track, during his 15 years with the national team.
Dubreuil wasn’t the only one displaying consistency on Sunday, as Ottawa’s Blondin won her third straight Mass Start medal, padding her lead atop the World Cup rankings. The 31-year old squeezed out a silver medal performance on home ice (8:29.710), falling short of Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida (8:29.510) by only two tenths of a second. They were joined on the podium by Russia’s Elizaveta Golubeva (8:29.720).
Bloemen, Belchos and Howe capped off the final day of World Cup action with a gutsy performance to sneak onto the podium in the men’s Team Pursuit. The Canadian squad overcame a slow start – which had them as far back as seventh position – to claw their way back into bronze medal position (3:38.604), behind Norway (3:36.242) and the United States (3:35.592).
Canada’s long track team ended their Olympic qualification campaign with an impressive 24 medals. Based on their World Cup performances, six skaters have pre-qualified for Beijing 2022 in eight distances. The country’s remaining Olympic quota spots will be filled at the Olympic Skate-Off, which will take place from December 27 to 31 in Quebec City.