Dubreuil sets new world junior mark in 500 metres at World Cup

Dubreuil set news world junior mark in 500 metres at World Cup in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In his first World Cup competition and second race, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., finished just 0.06 seconds away from earning the bronze medal in the 500 metres today in Salt Lake City, Utah. In his time of 34.66 seconds, Dubreuil also broke an eight-year old world junior record (34.75) held by Joji Kato of Japan.

In his first World Cup race on Saturday, the 19-year old Quebec skater won the 500-metre division B in another personal best of 34.78 seconds, and breaking his own Canadian junior record of 34.96 set in March 2011.

“I felt really good about it (race and world record)”, said Dubreuil. “It was a perfect race. The start was really good - by far my fastest start ever. Fourth (place) is really amazing.”

Dmitry Lobkov of Russia won gold in the 500 metres (34.54). Keiichiro Nagashima of Japan took the silver (34.57) and American Tucker Fredricks had the bronze (34.60).

Other Canadian men in the 500 metres A division had Jamie Gregg of Edmonton finished 13th (34.79) and Calgary’s Gilmore Junio was 17th (35.16). In men’s division B, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que., took third place (34.92) and Quebec City’s Muncef Ouardi was sixth (35.26).

In the women’s 500 metres division B, Canada placed their three skaters in the top five. Calgary’s Anastasia Bucsis was first in a time of 38.00 seconds. Winnipeg’s Shannon Rempel was fourth (38.59) and Danielle Wotherspoon of Red Deer, Alta., was fifth (38.61).

Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., was the lone Canadian in the 1,000 metres division A, finishing just off the podium in fourth place with a time of one minute and 8.20 seconds. American Shani Davis took gold in a time of 1:07.69, followed by Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands (1:07.94) and Finland’s Pekka Koskela (1:08.17).

In women’s 1,000 metres, Winnipeg’s Brittany Schussler skated to 13th (1:16.43). In division B, Bucsis was 11th (1:18.42), while Calgary’s Kaylin Irvine was fourth (1:16.51), Shannon Rempel of Winnipeg was fifth (1:16.60) and Regina’s Kali Christ was 11th (1:18.42).

In men’s division 1,000 metres, Regina’s Lucas Makowsky was fourth (1:09.16), Kyle Parrott of Minnedosa, Man., was sixth (1:09.43), Quebec City’s Muncef Ouardi was eighth (1:09.65) and Philippe Riopel of Lachenaie, Que., was ninth (1:09.65).

As part of her training schedule and preparations for next week’s World Sprint Championships in Calgary, Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont., did not skate today. She continues to lead the World Cup overall standings with 73.5 points.

This World Cup served as an important competition on this season’s circuit as it immediately precedes the World Sprint Championships in Calgary on Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29. Six Canadians will compete in Calgary, with Bucsis, Irvine and Nesbitt representing the women and Gregg, Morrison and Ouardi skating for the men. Tickets for the championships are available at www.speedsk8.ca. Only premium tickets, providing access to the most preferred seating area, are being sold online. These tickets guarantee entry to the championship, in the event of a sell-out.

After Salt Lake City, the 2011-12 long track World Cup schedule continues in Hamar, Norway, on Feb. 11 and 12.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is to $32,000 (18 gold medals, 10 silver and four bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.