Gilmore Junio captures long track bronze in Norway
Fellow Canadians Dutton, Dubreuil, Boisvert-Lacroix among top 10
Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio didn't disappoint when given another chance to reach the podium in the men's 500 metres, finishing third in Sunday's World Cup event in Stavanger, Norway.
The Calgarian, coming off a fourth-place finish in Friday's opening day of competition, stopped the clock in 34.86 seconds, less than a half-second behind winner Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia (34.52).
Junio squeezed his way on the podium, edging Kai Verbij of the Netherlands, who clocked 34.91, while Ruslan Murashov placed second in 34.78.
Three other Canadians finished among the top 10: Will Dutton (seventh, 34.97), Laurent Dubreuil (eighth, 34.98) and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (ninth, 35.01).
Dubreuil of Levis, Que., was fifth in Friday's 500. He recorded an identical time as Julio but the latter was placed in fourth since he was .001 of a second faster than Dubreuil.
Winning a medal was kind of bittersweet today because I had to do it against teammates and friends.- Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio on Sunday's bronze finish in the men's 500
"I knew going in today that to win the skateoff, it was going to take a pretty good skate to beat someone like Laurent, who has put up great results this season," Junio told Speed Skating Canada. "It was a matter of sticking to the process.
"Winning a medal was kind of bittersweet today because I had to do it against teammates and friends."
Junio also qualified for the world single distance championships, set for Feb. 11-14 in Kolomna, Russia by posting the fastest combined time over both 500 races this weekend. Dutton and Boisvert-Lacroix had previously qualified.
"It's a shame we can't take our entire team to the world single distance championships," Junio added, "because I know we have a great team with a lot of depth."
After 10 events, Boisvert-Lacroix has 463 points but is a distant second to Kulizhnikov, who boasts 705. The Russian also captured the men's 1,000 in Stavanger on Sunday with a time of one minute 8.10 seconds, less than one second ahead of Vincent De Haitre, who was sixth in 1:09.03, and fellow Canadian Alexandre St-Jean in seventh (a career-best 1:09.08). Richard Maclennan was 17th (1:10.67) after being promoted to the A group.
Irvine, Maclennan qualify in 1,000
Like Junio, Kaylin Irvine and Maclennan qualified for the world single distance championships in the 1000.
Irvine skated to a time of 1:17.12 and an 18th-place finish in the A group.
"I was very nervous because it was a skateoff for only one spot," said Irvine, who will compete in the world event for a third time. "Before the race I told myself … I would leave everything on the ice so that I … could be proud of my effort."
Maclennan will join De Haitre and St-Jean in Russia after he clocked 1:10.21 in Saturday's 1,000.
"I did what I had to do this week, and I really skated at a high level," said the native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who was 14th at last year's world single distance championships.
Weidemann to race 2 events in Russia
Ottawa's Isabelle Weidemann will compete in the 3,000 and 5,000 events in Kolomna after posting the fastest time by a Canadian in the 3,000 on Sunday at 4:11.00, good for 11th place.
"I've never been to Russia before. Getting a top-10 result there would be really nice," said Weidemann, who had qualified for the 5,000 at the Canadian championships on Jan. 4 in Calgary.
Ivanie Blondin, who also hails from Ottawa, was 12th in Sunday's 3,000 and will also skate in Kolomna while Jose Spence of Kamloops, B.C., was 15th (4:15.48).
Other Canadian results Sunday:
Men's 500 (Group A)
- Alexandre St-Jean, 15th (35.15)
Women's 1,000 (Group B)
- Kali Christ, 2nd (1:17.77)
- Heather McLean, 8th (1:18.40)
- Anastasia Bucsis, 9th (1:18.47)
- Shannon Rempel, 16th (1:20.06)
Men's 1,000 (Group B)
- Olivier Jean, 20th (1:10.98)
- Nick Goplen, 39th (1:13.66)
Women's 3,000 (Group B)
- Brianne Tutt, 6th (4:12.88)