Vincent De Haître smashes 1000m national record to take second spot on the first day of the 2017 ISU World Sprint Championships

Calgary, February 25, 2017 – Vincent De Haître broke an almost 10-year-old Canadian 1000m record which was previously held by Olympic medalist Jeremy Wotherspoon, placing him second in that distance and eighth after two events, while Laurent Dubreuil skated to two personal bests, ranking him sixth overall, and Heather McLean was in 13th place with her combined results after the first day of competition, Saturday, of the 2017 ISU World Sprint Championships held until Sunday at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

In the men’s 1000m, Vincent De Haître of Cumberland, ON, came up with a second place with a time of 1:06.72, smashing his own personal best by 0.73 seconds and the long standing national record by 0.31 seconds. He also became one of a select few men who have ever skated under the 1:07.00 mark in the event.

“The record means quite a lot to me,” admitted Vincent De Haître, who won the silver medal in the 1000m at the World Single Distance Championships a couple of weeks ago. “I’ve had my eye on it every time since I thought I had a shot at it, maybe for three or four years now. It’s nice to know that I’m the fastest Canadian in history in the 1000m. Today, I stayed focused and relaxed while being strong at the same time. I stayed calm and I did what I do best, like working on my high speed turns.”

The record previously belonged to Canadian Jeremy Wotherspoon, who skated to a time of 1:07.03 in Salt Lake City, on November 11, 2007.

“I definitely looked up to Jeremy as a younger skater. Knowing that I’m competing with some of the best is a huge motivational factor going into the next couple of years,” said De Haître.

“I’m looking forward to having a whole year to go a few tenths faster to get the world record. I made one mistake going into the last turn of my 1000m that I can fix and hopefully, I can take off another tenth or two tomorrow,” added De Haître.

In the 500m, De Haître took the 23rd place (35.04) and, after two events, he sits in eighth position.

Two personal bests for Laurent Dubreuil
Also in the 1000m, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, beat his personal best by posting a time of 1:08.07 to take the 10th spot.

“The times are incredibly fast right now, with three guys under 1:07.00. It's tough but I’m right where I wanted to be,” said Dubreuil.

First place went to Dutch skater Kjeld Nuis in 1:06.61, a time which was a championship and track record, while fellow Dutch teammate Kai Verbij (1:06.73) came in third.

In the men’s 500m, Dubreuil came up with another personal best and finished as the top Canadian in fourth place with a time of 34.31 seconds. That is the fastest time a Canadian has skated this season in that distance.

First place went to Ronald Mulder (34.18) of the Netherlands with a championship record, second was Roman Krech (34.21) from Kazakhstan and just edging out Dubreuil for third place was Ruslan Murascov (34.29) from Russia.

“I knew I had strong legs throughout the week. I executed pretty well the key aspect to my race, which was trying to be aggressive in the back straight. I wish I had a better shot at the line and a better first corner, but I can work on that tomorrow,” said Dubreuil.

After the first day of competition, Dubreuil is ranked sixth overall.

“My goal is to finish top five, so I’m in the mix. It’s consistency that’s important. I don’t need to show up tomorrow necessarily having to go faster. I need to show up and do my own thing and have two good races,” said Dubreuil.

In the overall standings, Verbij is in first place following the first day of competition, followed by Nico Ihle from Germany and Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen from Norway.

Heather McLean 13th overall
On the women’s side, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, Canada's lone female skater at the competition, placed eighth in the 500m with a time of 37.66 and 18th in the 1000m in 1:15.78.

“It’s frustrating sometimes to train here everyday and to know what we are capable of, and our coach holds us to a really high standard, so it’s pretty disappointing to get those kinds of results. What I did in my races today doesn’t exactly show what I’m capable of in training, so I’m looking forward to having two more races tomorrow,” said McLean.

After the first day of competition, Heather McLean sits in 13th place.

“I’m okay with where I am in the rankings. I know I have more in the tank so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m going to try and put a race together and be more prepared for the start of the 500m and give it all I have in the 1000m. I can’t say what my goals are placing-wise or time-wise, but I just want to skate like I know I can and I’ll be happy,” said McLean.

Noa Kodaira (36.75) of Japan was first in the 500m with a championship record, followed by Karolina Erbanova (37.06) of the Czech Republic, who was second, and Heather Bergsma (37.22) of the United States with third place.

Kodaira also won the 1000m (1:12.51) with another championship and track record, second place went to Jorien ter Mors (1:12.53) of the Netherlands and third was awarded again to Bergsma (1:12.95).

After the first two events, Kodaira is leading the competition, followed by Bergsma and ter Mors.

The World Sprint Championships are an event that combines points over four sprint events, two 500m races and two 1000m races, to come out with an overall sprint champion for both genders. Day one consisted in one 500m and one 1000m event, which will be mirrored on day 2, Sunday.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m (1) – W
8. Heather McLean (37,66)

500m (1) – M
4. Laurent Dubreuil (34,31)
23. Vincent De Haître (35,04)

1000m (1) – W
18. Heather McLean (1:15,78)

1000m (1) – M
2. Vincent De Haître (1:06,72)
10. Laurent Dubreuil (1:08,07)

Overall ranking (after day 1) – W
13. Heather McLean

Overall ranking (after day 1 – M
6. Laurent Dubreuil
8. Vincent De Haître

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.

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