Second in the 500m, Heather McLean earns best Canadian ranking at the ISU World Sprint Championships

Seoul, South Korea, February 28, 2016 – Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, earned the second-best time in the second 500m race held at the ISU World Sprint Championships, Sunday in Seoul, South Korea, to end up 12th in overall standings – the top Canadian performance.

Aside from her 500m result, Heather McLean finished 14th in Sunday's 1000m to move up two spots in overall standings. She was 14th after Saturday's races.

"I am extremely happy with 12th overall. That was my goal coming into this competition and after being 14th on day one, I knew I had some work to do in order to achieve that," said Heather MacLean, who registered the best Canadian performance in the women side at this competition since Christine Nesbitt in 2014.

In the 500m, McLean skated to a time of 38.15 seconds, compared to 38.79 on Saturday. The only skater to finish ahead of her on Sunday was Britanny Bowe of the United States (37.86). Heather Richardson-Bergsma, also from the United States, was third in 38.20.

Bowe was declared the overall winner of the 2016 ISU World Sprint Championships, ahead of Richardson-Bergsma. Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands finished third.

"Before my 500m I talked to Kevin (Crockett, her coach) and told him that I didn't care at what I place I would finish, that I just wanted to be able to race like I have in practice," said McLean. "What I am most happy about is that I was able to fix the mistakes I made on day one. Finishing second was just icing on the cake!"

In the 1000m, McLean improved the time she earned on Saturday by 10 hundredths of second, finishing the race in 1:18.84, good for 14th place.

"Today's 1000 was pretty similar to Friday's – it wasn't perfect, but it was a step in the right direction," noted McLean. "My 1000m needs a lot of work, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to be able to compete with the other skaters in both the 500m and 1000m."

Dubreuil and Boisvert-Lacroix overcome by fatigue
On the men's side, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, finished 16th overall while Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, was 18th.

After settling for 13th place overall following Saturday's races, Dubreuil finished 17th in Sunday 500m (35.53) and was 20th in the 1000m (1:11.96).

"It was even worse than yesterday. It's my worst result ever in four World Sprint Championships. It's not a disaster, but I am clearly not happy with that," said Laurent Dubreuil.

"I simply didn't have the means and the legs necessary to play anything other than a supporting role today. I wasn't competitive at all. I had my worst start this season in a 500m and I broke way too much in the 1000m. I am going to go back to the drawing board to try and find a level that is more acceptable. But when a sprinter has bad openings, usually it's because of fatigue."

His teammate Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, who was 17th overall after Saturday's two races, ended up for his part 18th in overall standings after finishing 14th in the 500m (35.39) and 23rd in the 1000m (1:12.55) Sunday.

"It was a very demanding weekend. A great experience, but painful for the muscles," pointed out Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, who was making his debut at this competition.

"Today, I had high expectations in the 500m, but I was more tired than I thought. My time of 9.67 in the first 100m is proof of that! That was my slowest opening this season. And after that, I had trouble skating well in the last turn – that's usually one of my biggest strengths.”

"When I look at the overall standings, I don't see many opponents ahead of me that I could have beaten in this competition format and on such a slow ice surface. I could have possibly finished two or three ranks higher, but no more. Still, it was a great experience and I hope to qualify again for next year's World Sprint Championships, which will take place on fast ice in Calgary!"

Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov was crowned world champion on the men's side, ahead of Dutch skaters Kjeld Nuis and Kai Verbij.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

Final Ranking
W
12. Heather McLean

M
16. Laurent Dubreuil
18. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix

500m W
2. Heather McLean (38.15)

500m M
14. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (35.39)
17. Laurent Dubreuil (35.53)

1000m W
14. Heather McLean (1:18.84)

1000m M
20. Laurent Dubreuil (1:11.96)
23. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (1:12.55)

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

About Speed Skating Canada
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.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, City of Montreal, Calgary Olympic Oval and WinSport Canada.

- 30 -

For information:
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

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