Laurent Dubreuil earns pair of bronze at speed skating World Cup finale
Canadian team turning attention to worlds after earning 11 medals at 2 World Cups
Canada's speed skating team capped its last warmup for the world championship with a pair of sprint bronze medals from Laurent Dubreuil on Sunday in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
The 28-year-old from Lévis, Que., was third in the World Cup men's 500 and 1,000 metres a day after taking silver in another 500.
"I'm pretty tired, but the day went really well," Dubreuil told Speed Skating Canada. "In my 500, the gap was really tight; the difference between victory and fourth place was very slim. It was still a good race overall. I was a little too passive on my last corner and it probably cost me gold, but I can't be mad because I won a medal.
"In the 1000, I could not have done any better. The two guys who finished ahead of me [Kai Verbij and Thomas Krol] are exceptional and really in a league of their own. I knew I had a chance to beat everyone else."
WATCH | Dubreuil speeds to bronze in 500 metres:
Canada finished the three-day World Cup with six medals, including gold in women's team pursuit.
The global COVID-19 pandemic shrunk the speed skating season to a pair of World Cup events in Heerenveen the last two weeks, with the Feb. 11-14 world championship to be held in the same venue.
They had two weeks of indoor training in Fort St. John, B.C., in November and otherwise skated outdoors in Red Deer, Alta., or did short-track training in Calgary.
But Canadians won a combined 11 medals in Heerenveen's two World Cups, including two gold from the women's pursuit team of Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin and Isabelle Wiedemann and Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que.
Dubreuil was 3-100ths of a second back of Dutch winner Ronald Muller's 34.594 seconds in Sunday's 500. Hein Otterspeer of the Netherland was second in 34.590.
WATCH | Dubreuil continues medal haul at ISU World Cup finale:
Dubreuil was the only non-Dutchman in the top five of the 1,000.
Kai Verbij was the victor in 1:07.355, ahead of teammate Thomas Krol in 1:07.581 and Dubreuil in 1:08.185.
Other Canadian results:
- Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa): 10th in 1,000 metres
- Kaylin Irvine (Calgary): 11th in 500, 16th in 1000
- Béatrice Lamarche (Quebec City): 24th in 500, 14th in 1000
- Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.): 13th in 3000
- Abigail McCluskey (Penticton, B.C.): 25th in 500, 5th in 3000 (Division B)
- Heather McLean (Winnipeg): DNS in 500
- Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa): 6th in 3000
- Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.): 16th in 5000
- Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary): 14th in 5000
- Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, Que.): 14th in 500
- Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, Que.): 3rd in 500, 3rd in 1000
- Connor Howe (Canmore, Alta.): 11th in 1000
- Gilmore Junio (Calgary): 9th in 500