Will Dutton earns 2 more medals at long-track World Cup event
Canadian speed skaters reach podium 7 times in Utah
William Dutton remains perfect in his return to competitive speed skating.
The native of Humboldt, Sask., reached the podium twice Sunday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has four medals in as many 500-metre races on the World Cup circuit since his return from a six-month retirement.
Dutton was part of the Canadian men's long-track squad that won the team sprint and also earned a silver medal in the men's 500m.
Laurent Dubreuil collected a bronze in the same race while Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa finished second in the women's mass start as Canada took home seven medals this weekend, matching last week's winnings at the season-opening event in Calgary.
When I came up ahead of him after the first turn, I think I scared him a little bit. I'm improving with each race.- Canadian speed skater Will Dutton on finishing 2nd to Pavel Kulizhnikov in men's 500-metre race
"It was pretty crazy," Dutton told Speed Skating Canada of his 4-for-4 medal performance. "I really wanted that medal today, because I wanted to come up with a strong finish to end the North American string of World Cups, and make it four in four."
Dutton, 25, clocked 34.34 seconds in Sunday's 500m, finishing behind Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov, who won in 34.13.
"I was really close to Pavel Kulizhnikov," Dutton said, "but I was short in energy for the last few metres. When I came up ahead of him after the first turn, I think I scared him a little bit. I'm improving with each race."
At 34.36, Dubreuil fell only three-hundredths of a second shy of his personal best.
"After a substandard race on Friday where I finished 15th, my worst performance at a World Cup over the last two years, I was extremely disappointed," he said in a statement released by Speed Skating Canada. "I really needed this kind of race to get my confidence back."
Dubreuil finished second overall in the World Cup 500m standings last season.
Fellow Canadian Alexandre St-Jean placed eighth in Sunday's 500m while setting a new PB of 34.460, 11 hundredths of a second better than his previous mark.
Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (10th) and Gilmore Junio rounded out the Canadian contingent.
Canadian team sprint record
Later in the afternoon, Vincent De Haitre, Dutton and St-Jean set a Canadian mark of one minute 17.75 in the team sprint, finishing ahead of Russia (1:19.120) and the Netherlands (1:19.20).
"I'm quite satisfied with my lap, which was pretty fast," said St-Jean after capturing his first World Cup medal. "The pressure was very high in the turns but things went well.
"William had a fast start and Vincent was excellent in the last turn, which allowed us to increase our lead and to win by more than one second."
In the women's team spring, the Canadian trio of Marsha Hudey, Kaylin Irvine and Heather McLean was fourth. They, too, established a Canadian record of 1:26.90, besting the old mark of 1:28.39.
Blondin improved upon last week's third-place finish on home soil with silver in Salt Lake City.
Irene Schouten of the Netherlands, who was second to Blondin in last season's overall mass start standings, won Sunday's race. Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., was sixth.
"I'm a little bit disappointed that I didn't win gold, but at the same time I'm pleased to be once again on the podium," Blondin said.
- Toronto's Jordan Belchos was 13th in the men's mass start and Rob Watson of Whitby, Ont., placed 18th.
- Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa and Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., were fifth in the mass group B races.