Laurent Dubreuil the top Canadian with a 6th place overall ranking at the 2017 ISU World Sprint Championships

Calgary, February 26, 2017 – Laurent Dubreuil came up with a sixth place finish overall as the top Canadian, while Heather McLean finished seventh with two personal best times and Vincent De Haître placed second in the men’s 1000m event, ranking him ninth overall, Sunday, on the second and last day of the 2017 ISU World Sprint Championships held at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.
 
Starting the day on Sunday with a second 500m (34.50) that was slightly off the mark from Saturday, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, came back strong in the 1000m with a personal best time of 1:07.77, besting his previous mark by 0.3 seconds.
 
“I’m really happy with the way I responded and I was able to race a great 1000m. A time of 1:07.77, I didn’t think I could do that, so that’s the best I could have done and I’m proud with the way I responded,” said Dubreuil.
 
Dubreuil managed to achieve personal best times in three of the four races he skated in over the two-day competition.
 
“It was a great weekend. My goal was to be top five, but I did better than the previous points world record for this competition and five guys did even better, so there’s not much more I could have done,” explained Dubreuil, who maintained his 6th place ranking from the first day of competition.
 
“When you look at it as a whole, it’s pretty rare to have four very good or great races in one weekend, and I had three personal bests and one pretty good race. I’m really proud of the way I raced and it’s my highest finish ever at World Sprint Championships. I’m very happy”, added Dubreuil who took the eighth position in 2015.
 
Kai Verbij of the Netherlands was crowned World Sprint Champion on the men’s side, with Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway winning silver and Dutch skater Kjeld Nuis in bronze position.
 
McLean hits her stride in day two
The sole female Canadian skater in this competition, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, skated to two personal best times, Sunday, to clinch seventh in the overall rankings, after a sub-par first day of competition that had her in 13th place overall.
 
McLean first started the day with a false start and she then clinched a fourth position in the 500m in a personal best time of 37.29 seconds. She clocked the second ever fastest Canadian women’s 500m race, close behind Catriona Le May Doan, who still holds the long-standing national record of 37.22 seconds, which she had held since 2001.
 
Then, in the 1000m, McLean broke another personal best with a time of 1:14.36, an improvement of 63 hundredths of a second which placed her ninth.
 
“I’m happy about skating two personal bests today, but it’s even sweeter knowing that I had a bad day yesterday and that I was able to come back from that,” said Heather McLean. “I think it may have helped that today, I just wanted to have fun and put less pressure on myself. Maybe it was a question of getting the nerves out of the way from day one. I think that makes a difference. Having my family here to watch just made it that much more special. I’m really happy with the weekend as a whole. I feel so much love from Calgary!”
 
“I don’t just want to be a pure 500m skater, I want to be a complete sprinter. That requires a solid 1000m so I’m happy to get a little bit better each year. It’s definitely my goal to be on the podium at World Sprint Championships one day,” added McLean.
 
Noa Kodaira of Japan was crowned the World Sprint Champion with Heather Bergsma of the United States winning silver and Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands rounding out the podium for bronze.
 
Vincent De Haître, ninth
Like he did in the first race in that distance on Saturday, Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, again came up with a second place finish (1:07.23) in the 1000m, Sunday, while skating to a 20th spot in the 500m (35.00) which placed him ninth in the cumulative rankings.
 
“Ninth is actually better than what I expected for myself. In the qualifying competition for this, I finished 11th overall in Berlin, so 9th is a step in the right direction. It’s better than what I thought, but I know there’s room for improvement and I’m looking forward to see where this brings me,” said De Haître, who broke the 1000m Canadian record, Saturday, with a time of 1:06.72.
 
“I can’t be too disappointed with my races today. My lap speed wasn’t quite there in the 500m, but my start was back to where it should be,” explained De Haître. “I’m happy I got second place in the 1000m, it matches my World Single Distance Championships performance and as well as yesterday’s performance. Against the same guys, I’m consistently second place and this is good. It’s shows potential for the Olympics coming up and I’m confident that I can repeat this performance.”

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
500m (2) – W
4. Heather McLean (37,29)

500m (2) – M
8. Laurent Dubreuil (34,50)
20. Vincent De Haître (35,00)

1000m (2) – W
9. Heather McLean (1:14,36)

1000m (2) – M
2. Vincent De Haître (1:07,23)
6. Laurent Dubreuil (1:07,77)

Overall ranking – W
7. Heather McLean

Overall ranking – M
6. Laurent Dubreuil
9. Vincent De Haître

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.

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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 14,000 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.

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