Alex Boisvert-Lacroix wins 500m gold at Calgary World Cup

David La Rue sets a new junior world record in the 1500m distance

Calgary, December 3, 2017 – Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, earned his first-ever gold medal at the international level when he won the men's 500m, Sunday, on the last day of the ISU World Cup Long Track Speed Skating stage held at Calgary's Olympic Oval.
 
Boisvert-Lacroix beat out South Korea's Min Kyu Cha by one thousandth of a second, clocking a time of 31.313 that came within 13 thousandths of a second from his personal best. Finland's Mika Poutala (34.38) collected bronze.
 
“I was expecting to clock a fast time, but I was also expecting that the skaters following me would go even faster,” said Boisvert-Lacroix, who was in the third pairing out of a total of 10. “I was thinking that I would probably end up fifth. I've never felt more stress that when I was waiting for the other skaters' results. When I saw that I won gold, I let out of a scream and celebrated with my coach. We couldn't believe it!”
 
The athlete from Sherbrooke had to wait two hours, however, before he could savour his victory as Russia's Ruslan Murashov and Germany's Nico Ihle reskated the 500m after being initially slowed down due to a fall by the other skater in their respective pairing.
 
“It was an emotional day until the end. It was an incredible feeling,” added Boisvert-Lacroix.

His medal brought him one step closer to the Olympic Games. Following the four Fall World Cups, if he finishes among the top 5 in the Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC), an overall ranking that takes into account the four World Cup stages to be held this Fall, he would be prequalified for the 500m as per some conditions (including that Canada qualifies at least one spot in this event).
 
Laurent Dubreuil (34.55) from Lévis, QC, ended up 12th while Gilmore Junio was disqualified after falling a few meters before the finish line.
 
In the women's 500m, Marsha Hudey (37.43) of White City, SK, finished in 11th place, followed by Heather McLean (37.627) of Winnipeg, MB, who was 12th.

Best-ever placing for Brianne Tutt
In the women's 1500m, Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, AB, was fifth in group A, earning her best career placing so far on the World Cup circuit.

Tutt also lowered a personal best for the third time this week. On Sunday, she improved on her previous mark in the 1500m distance by almost two seconds, as her personal best now stands at 1:53.99.
 
Japan's Miho Takagi (1:51.79) won gold, followed by Dutch skater Marrit Leenstra (1:52.06) and Russia's Yekaterina Shikhova (1:53.52).
 
“That 0.4 seconds that puts me off the podium is probably going to haunt me, but hopefully I'll be able to make it in Salt Lake City,” said Tutt. “It’s nice to get a hat trick in terms of personal bests this weekend with a new PB in each distance I raced.”

Kali Christ (1:55.21) from Regina, SK, placed 12th while Isabelle Weidemann (1:56.83) from Ottawa, ON, skated to 19th place.

PB in the men's 1500m for De Haître
Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, was the top Canadian in the men's 1500m with a sixth-place finish in 1:43.138, which was a personal best. His previous mark stood at 1:43.56.
 
“It wasn't a performance worthy of a podium, but at the same time we aren’t specifically preparing for World Cups, but rather for the Olympics. These are all training events for the Games,” noted De Haître. “I see the little improvements I’m making and it’s giving me a lot of confidence moving forward.”
 
Denny Morrison from Fort St. John, B.C., was 8th with a time of 1:43.28.
 
“I can feel the momentum is on the upswing and I’m starting to put together the key pieces, big and small, that lead to those really good times,” said Morrison. “I think that momentum is really building now and I’ve seen it throughout this season especially. My confidence is building with it.”
 
David La Rue sets junior world record... for a few hours
In the men's 1500m B group, David La Rue from Saint-Lambert, QC, set a new junior world record in the distance with a time of 1:44.37. The old mark of 1:44.45 had been held by American skater Brian Hansen since November 2009.
 
The new record only stood for a few hours, however, until Norway's Sindre Henriksen skated to a time of 1:43.68 in group A.
 
“That was one of my main goals this year,” said La Rue of his world record-calibre time. “I'm happy about it, but I want to push it even more. I'm still not totally satisfied with my time, I want to continue to improve on it each time out. Today, it was all a matter of execution, but I feel and can do even better.”
 
Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, ON, also bettered his personal best in the 1500m thanks to a time of 1:45.10, as did Keri Morrison (1:56.67) and Josie Morrison (1:57.70) from Kamloops, B.C., on the women's side.

In the mass start, Keri Morrison of Burlington, ON, was 9th while Ivanie Blondin from Ottawa, ON, had to settle for 16th place. On the men's side, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, QC, was 8th.
 
The Canadian team will now travel to Salt Lake City, in the United States, for the fourth stage of the Word Cup season, to take place Dec. 8-10.
 
Calgary’s Olympic Oval, host organizing committee of the 2017 ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Calgary, would like to thank its following sponsors and partners:
 
Official sponsors of the ISU World Cups Speed Skating: KPN, Liqui Moly, DKB, De Telegraaf
Government and sport partners: Government of Canada, Government of Alberta, Alberta Sport Connection, City of Calgary, Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, University of Calgary’s Kinesiology Faculty
Sponsors of the event: Best Western Plus Village Park Inn, Hotel Alma, Li-Ning, Intact Insurance, National Motor Coach, Big Chief Meat Snacks, Fuel For Gold, KIA, Ricoh, Vendini, Wild Rose Brewery, Aloft Calgary University, Centro Motel, Four Points by Sheraton

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m – M
GOLD: Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (34.313)
12. Laurent Dubreuil (34.55)
19. Gilmore Junio (DQ)

1500m – W
5. Brianne Tutt (1:53.99)
12. Kali Christ (1:55.21)
19. Isabelle Weidemann (1:56.83)

1500m – M
6. Vincent De Haître (1:43.138)
8. Denny Morrison (1:43.28)

Mass Start – W
9. Keri Morrison
16. Ivanie Blondin

Mass Start – M
8. Olivier Jean

500m – W
11. Marsha Hudey (37.43)
12. Heather McLean (37.627)

500m (B) – M
5. William Dutton (34.49)
14. Alexandre St-Jean (34.887)

1500m (B) – M
4. David La Rue (1:44.37)
11. Ben Donnelly (1:45.10)
12. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu (1:45.12)

500m (B) – W
5. Kaylin Irvine (38.24)
13. Shannon Rempel (38.64)
19. Noémie Fiset (39.16)

1500m (B) – W
8. Keri Morrison (1:56.67)
13. Josie Morrison (1:57.70)

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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For information:
Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC 

Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC