Victory for Laurent Dubreuil on Three Medal Day for Canada at World Cup Speed Skating

 

Dubreuil, Ted-Jan Bloemen and the women’s team sprint find the podium during action-packed day in Norway

STAVANGER, NORWAY – The Canadian team earned one medal of each colour at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Stavanger on Saturday. Laurent Dubreuil stood atop the podium in the men’s 500m, the women’s team sprint skated to a silver medal, and Ted-Jan Bloemen completed the set with bronze in the men’s 10,000m.
 
Dubreuil, the reigning World Champion in the men’s 500m, lined up against Russian skater Artem Arefyev in the eighth pair of the shortest long track distance. While he was slower through the first 100m, Dubreuil (34.573) narrowly edged Arefyev (34.608) at the line. None of the skaters in the ensuing pairs were able to put forth a faster time and the mark set by Marek Kania of Poland (34.653) was good enough for third.
 
It is only the second individual World Cup victory of Dubreuil’s career, with the skater from Lévis, QC having last captured gold in the 500m during the 2017-18 season. The win also vaults Dubreuil into first place in the overall World Cup standings, eight points ahead of Japan’s Tatsuya Shinhama, who finished fifth on Saturday but had previously beat the Canadian in each race.
 
In the men’s longest Olympic distance, Bloemen put forth a strong effort to capture bronze with a 10,000m time of 13:00.230. Although he had the fastest start of the field through the first five laps, the Calgarian’s lap times slowly crept up throughout the race. After two events, Bloemen sits second in the World Cup long distance rankings.
 
The man ahead of him is Nils van der Poel of Sweden, who set a new track record of 12:38.928 to take the gold medal in Saturday’s 10,000m. His lap times were consistently more than half a second faster than those of Dutch skater Jorrit Bergsma, who crossed the line 17.16 seconds behind his pair to earn silver. Moose Jaw, SK native Graeme Fish finished fourth.
 
The final distance of the day featured Maddison Pearman (Ponoka, AB), Alexa Scott (Clandeboye, MB) and Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, ON) combining to represent Canada in the women’s team sprint. While the trio got off to a slower start than the rest of the field, Blondin was able to make up significant ground in the final 400m. Her speed as the last woman on the track catapulted the team from fifth to second position and a finishing time of 1:28.547.
 
The silver medal marks a first senior World Cup podium finish for both Pearman and Scott. The Polish team narrowly edged out the Canadians for gold with a time of 1:28.364, while China took bronze after their final skater crossed the line in 1:28.574.
 
The World Cup in Norway concludes on Sunday with the second 500m and the 1500m for both men and women. Races will be streamed live on CBC Sports beginning at 9:00am ET.

 

QUOTES

"It was obviously a good race, based on the victory. I didn't feel as good physically as I did last weekend, but I skated a lot better technically than in Poland. I was able to stay concentrated all the way to the finish, despite my pair starting much faster than I anticipated. This is only my second World Cup win in an individual distance, so it's an excellent result, but I know that I am capable of being even faster!"

- Laurent Dubreuil

"I’m really happy to pick up another medal today. I knew it was going to be a tough race, since I am a skater that really uses his technique and his glide to go fast, which works better in faster conditions. I can feel that there is so much more potential in me on faster ice, so I am excited for the next two World Cups in Salt Lake City and Calgary. Nils van der Poel was a bit in his own category today, so we will need to keep chipping away. I know that our program will be really good for us, so that when the Olympics come, we will show our best races of the year."

- Ted-Jan Bloemen

"The team sprint isn’t an Olympic event, so we went into the race without a ton of pressure and just wanting to have fun. We’re also not really sprinters, so we didn’t know what we would be able to pull off! But it’s one of our biggest strengths and advantages over the other teams that we train together every day. It was nice to be able to work together in a race and very exciting for Alexa [Scott] and I to get our first senior World Cup medal!"

- Maddison Pearman

 

FULL CANADIAN RESULTS

Women’s 500m

Heather McLean – 17th

Marsha Hudey – 3rd (Division B)

Brooklyn McDougall – 8th (Division B)

Kaylin Irvine – 9th (Division B)

Men’s 500m

Laurent Dubreuil – 1st

Gilmore Junio – 19th

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix – 10th (Division B)

Jacob Graham – 29th (Division B)

Men’s 10,000m

Ted-Jan Bloemen – 3rd

Graeme Fish – 4th

Jordan Belchos – 10th (Division B)

Team Sprint

Men’s (Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, Antoine Gélinas Beaulieu, Vincent de Haitre) – 6th

Women’s (Maddison Pearman, Alexa Scott, Ivanie Blondin) – 2nd