Laurent Dubreuil & Kali Christ on the podium at World Junior Long Track Championships

Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, QC) and Kali Christ (Regina, SK) each won a medal for Canada today at the World Junior Championships in Seinajoki, Finland. Dubreuil won silver in the 500m event while Christ got the bronze medal of the 1000m race.

After finishing second in yesterday’s 500m race, Laurent Dubreuil was hoping to have another strong race today in order to step on his first World Junior Championships podium. Completing today’s race in a time of 36.85, for a combined time of 73.56 Dubreuil secured his place on the second step of the podium. Only Korean Kim Sung-Kyu was faster (73.45), and the bronze medal went to Tsubasa Hasegawa of Japan (74.35).

“Today’s race was good,” explained Dubreuil afterwards. “I had a good opener, I slipped a bit in the corner, but overall I feel it was a good one even if it was a bit slower than yesterday. I still have the 1000m left to race tomorrow, and I’m hoping for another podium finish there,” concluded the young skater who just competed in the Canada Winter Games in Halifax, where he won a total of five medals.

Also in today’s 500m, Martin Corbett (Uxbridge, ON) was 12th with a time of 38.66, Alec Janssens (Chiliwack, BC) was 17th (39.24) and Axel Morin (Saskatoon, SK) finished 18th in 39.31. In the overall 500m results, this places Corbett in 8th position, while Janssens and Morin are still 17th and 18th respectively.

On the women side, Kali Christ, after a strong 5th place finish in yesterday’s 1500m race, completed today’s 1000m distance in 1:22.40, good for the bronze medal. Gold went to Karolina Erbanova of Czech Republic (1:21.41) and Hege Bokko of Finland won silver (1:22.32).

“I felt really good during my race,” said Christ. “I wasn’t thinking about the result, I just went out there and had fun. Finishing third was a bonus for me!” Christ was the first skater to broke the track record, before Bokko and Erbanova lowered it even more. “I still have the second 500m race and the pursuit tomorrow, and I will once again give it my all. I’m hoping to keep or improve my 14th place finish from yesterday in the 500m.”

Also racing the 1000m today was Brianne Tutt (Airdrie, AB), and she finished 18th in 1:24.87. Jenessa Kemp (Calgary, AB) was 24th in 1:26.04 and Kate Hanly (Calgary, AB) 31st in 1:27.60.

Tutt, Christ and Hanly also raced the 3000m today. Tutt was the fastest, completing the distance in 4:36.07, good for 13th place. Christ followed in 20th position (4:41.09) and Hanly was 30th (4:56.60). Park Do-Yeong of Korea won the race in 4:21.51. In the overall women’s competition, Erbanova became the new World Junior Champion. Christ finishes a very respectable 9th, Tutt is 12th and Hanly 18th.

The allround men skaters went on to race the 5000m. Only two Canadians were in action, and Janssens managed to skate to 12th place with a time of 7:07.26. Connor McConvey finished 23rd (7:25.65). The winner was Sverre Lunde Pedersen of Norway, who completed the distance in 6:51.09. With that victory, Pedersen became the new Allround World Junior Champion.

Meanwhile, the top junior short track speed skaters are also in competition this weekend, for their own World Junior Championships taking place in Courmayeur, Italy. It was another tough day for Canada, this time in the 500m. In the end, Alexandre St-Jean (Québec, QC) was the top finisher, with a 6th place on the men side. He was the lone Canadian skater to make it to the semi finals. His two teammates, Patrick Duffy (Oakville, ON) and Pier-Olivier Gagnon (Québec, QC) were penalised in their respective heats and have to settle for 30th and 32nd place.

On the women side, Laurie Marceau (Dolbeau-Mistassinni, QC) was the top skater for Canada today, with a 10th place. Cynthia Mascitto (Laval, QC) followed in 13th position, and Ann-Véronique Michaud of Amqui, QC, finished 24th.

The Canadian team was able to finish its day on a positive note, however, when both relay teams qualified for the finals, to be raced tomorrow. Marceau, Mascitto and Michaud were joined by Courtney Shmyr (Langley, BC) for the semi-final race, in which they took second place behind a strong Italian team. Gagnon, Duffy and St-Jean teamed up with Maxime Gauthier (St-Lambert, QC) to win their semi-final ahead of Kazakhstan.

Tomorrow, short track skaters will dispute the 1000m as well as the relay final, while long track skaters will race the second 500m for the women, the 1000m men and Team Pursuits.