Laurent Dubreuil breaks 500m Canadian record to open World Cup Speed Skating in Calgary

Isabelle Weidemann wins silver in women’s 3000m; Ted-Jan Bloemen earns bronze in men’s 5000m

CALGARY, ALBERTA – It was a record-breaking day for Canadian long track sprinter Laurent Dubreuil, who broke Jeremy Wotherspoon’s national record in the men’s 500m en route to a gold medal to open the ISU World Cup in Calgary.

The 29-year old became the first Canadian to finish the 500m distance under the mythical 34-second barrier, posting a time of 33.778 on the fast ice at the Olympic Oval to break the legendary Wotherspoon’s record of 34.03, which had stood since 2007. It was an exciting moment for Dubreuil, who came very close to achieving the feat last weekend in Salt Lake City, where he skated a time of 34.053. 

Skating in the eighth pairing of the day on Friday, the native of Lévis, Que., knew he had to break the 34-second mark to reach the podium, as China’s Tingyu Gao (33.876), Japan’s Yuma Murakami (33.898) and Viktor Mushtakov of Russia (33.960) had already done so ahead of him. Dubreuil’s time put him atop the podium, alongside silver medalist Gao and bronze medalist Marakami.

With seven consecutive 500m medals to his name so far this season, Dubreuil now sits comfortably atop the World Cup rankings with 372 points, 54 points ahead of his closest competitor in Tatsuya Shinhama of Japan.

Also bringing home a medal for Canada on Friday were Ottawa’s Isabelle Weidemann and Calgary’s Ted-Jan Bloemen.

Weidemann, who is currently the World Cup’s top ranked long distance skater, won silver in the women’s 3000m with a new personal-best time of 3:55.334. She was joined on the podium by veteran’s Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy, who won gold (3:54.437), and Martina Sáblíková of the Czech Republic, won took home bronze (3:55.500).

Bloemen, second overall in the World Cup rankings, ended the day with Canada’s third medal, capturing bronze in the men’s 5000m with a time of 6:09.521. The veteran skater stood on the podium alongside silver medalist Davide Ghiotto of Italy (6:09.342) and reigning World Champion and world record holder Nils van der Poel of Sweden (6:04.293).

The ISU World Cup in Calgary continues Saturday with the women’s 500m(2), 1000m and Team Pursuit, as well as the men’s 1500m and Mass Start. The races will be streamed live on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports starting at 2:30pm ET.

Quotes

  • “It was a goal of mine this year to beat Jeremy Wotherspoon’s Canadian record and skate under 34 seconds and I was very close last week, so to have another chance to do it this week was big. I saw the guys doing 33 seconds earlier in the race and I was like ‘I need to do 33 to win a medal today’. It’s going to be tough because I’ve never done it, but I felt really good in the warm-up and really confident. It was a really good day.” – Laurent Dubreuil
  • “I have been in this position in the past, but I feel like more of a veteran skater. It’s not as intimidating for me. I’m excited to go do some training now. For me, it’s about consistency. Making sure I’m doing the same things over and over in practice and not getting too overwhelmed. And keeping it fun, that’s so crucial for me.” – Isabelle Weidemann
  • "I have mixed feelings about today’s 5000m. I found something at the end of the race and managed to finish strong. I found a lot of confidence there. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it earlier. A 6:09 here for me isn't great, so I've got more to come. Last weekend I had a really bad race, and this was so much better already. I'm happy with the progression. What I showed earlier this season I know is still in me." – Ted-Jan Bloemen

Results

Men's 500m

  • Laurent Dubreuil - 1st
  • Alex Boisvert-Lacroix - 3rd (Division B)
  • Gilmore Junio - 4th (Division B)
  • Cédrick Brunet - 25th (Division B)
  • Jacob Graham - 28th (Division B)

Men's 5000m

  • Ted-Jan Bloemen - 3rd
  • Jordan Belchos - 8th (Division B)
  • Hayden Mayeur - 28th (Division B)
  • Jack Deibert - 33rd (Division B)
  • Kaleb Muller - DQ (Division B)

Women's 500m

  • Marsha Hudey - 18th
  • Brooklyn McDougall - 20th
  • Kaylin Irvine - 3rd (Division B)
  • Heather Mclean - 6th (Division B)
  • Maddison Pearman - 22nd (Division B)

Women's 3000m

  • Isabelle Weidemann - 2nd
  • Valerie Maltais - 6th
  • Ivanie Blondin - 14th
  • Alexa Scott - 21st (Division B)
  • Kali Christ - 31st (Division B)

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