Royal Canadian Mint 2009 Canada Cup #3, Day 3 – Justine L’Heureux finishes season on a high note

(Québec, March 8, 2009) – Justine L’Heureux finished her season on a high note in the women’s senior category by winning 1000m and taking silver in the 500m during the last day of competition at the Royal Canadian Mint 2009 Canada Cup #3 held at the Gaétan Boucher Oval in Québec City.

L’Heureux, originally from the Mauricie who now lives in Québec City in order to train at the Gaétan Boucher National Centre, beat her own 1000m time from Friday and establish a new track record with 1:22.91. Kristy Lay (Medicine Hat, Alb) was second with a time of 1:23.74 while Kelsey Duffield (Red Deer, Alb) was third with a time of 1:23.81. Duffield took gold in the 500m with a time of 41.98, in front of L’Heureux, 42.13, and Anastasia Bucsis who finish the distance in 42.26 seconds.

The men’s 1000m belonged to the two Quebec athletes. Philippe Riopel, originally from Repentigny and Alexandre Garant of Québec, completed the distance in 1:16.32 and 1:16.49 respectively, placing them on the top 2 steps of the podium. They were joined Mykola Makowski (Regina, Sask) who clocked a time 1:17.77.

The closest race of the day was the men’s 500m. It was junior skater Richard MacLennan (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont) who had the last word winning his first Canada Cup race with a time of 37.94. Second place went to Alberta’s Jeonghyun Lee who finished only 5 hundredth of a second behind MacLennan. Jean-René Bélanger, originally from Sherbrooke and now trains in Québec City at the Gaétan Boucher National Centre, finished the distance in third place with a time of 38.01 seconds, a mere 7 hundredth of a second from the top of the podium.

Cancellation of the ladies 5000m and men’s 10000m

Officials and organizers were forced to stop the competition during the ladies 5000m as the ice melted due to unusual spring like weather.

Questioned about the unusual weather, Justine L’Heureux indicated that it was the first time that this type of circumstance has occurred to her in more than 5 years of national competition. “It was the only decision that could be made as it was too dangerous, especially in the turns” stated national team coach, Gregor Jelonek

The Gaétan Boucher Oval offers a 400m refrigerated track. Unfortunately, nothing could be done to save the ice and the two distances, even with the refrigeration system running at full capacity.

Complete race results are available at

Robert Dubreuil, Director
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