Carolina Hiller, Isabelle Weidemann and Ted-Jan Bloemen also crowned Canadian Champions on opening day
QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC – Laurent Dubreuil stole the show on the opening day of the 2022 Canadian Speed Skating Championships presented by Intact Insurance, finishing the 500m in a blistering 34.379 seconds to claim the national title in front of family and friends at the Centre de glace Intact Assurance.
Dubreuil, who is the reigning Canadian record holder in the distance, skated one of his fastest times at a at lower altitude, sea-level oval, thanks in large part to a 9.471 opener, which was only one one-hundredth of a second off his personal best. The native of Lévis, Que., was joined on the men’s 500m podium by Cédrick Brunet (Gatineau, Que.) and Christopher Fiola (Montreal, Que.), who posted times of 35.500 and 35.541 respectively.
In the women’s 500m, former NextGen team member Carolina Hiller (Prince George, B.C.) earned the first national title of her career, skating a personal best 38,420 to reach the top of the podium. Calgary’s Brooklyn McDougall was second (38.599), while Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin was third (38.953).
The first of four competition days for these first-ever joint Canadian Speed Skating Championships concluded with a pair of long distances on the beautiful 400m oval.
Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, Ont.) got her season off to an impressive start with a gold medal performance in the women’s 3000m. The triple Olympic medalist from Beijing 2022 finished the distance in 4:00.206, placing her ahead veteran teammates Blondin (Ottawa, Ont.) and Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.), who clocked in at 4:06.133 and 4:07.369, respectively.
Ted-Jan Bloemen (Calgary, Alta.) claimed the title in the men’s 5000m with a time of 6:16.161, finishing comfortably ahead of Jordan Belchos (Toronto, Ont.) at 6:23.778 and Graeme Fish (Moose Jaw, Sask.) at 6:24.934.
The 2022 Canadian Speed Skating Championships presented by Intact Insurance continues Friday, where both long track and short track skaters will be in action. The short track competition kicks-off with the 1500m-1 and 500m in the morning, while long track titles will be up for grabs in the men’s and women’s 1000m, women’s 5000m and men’s 10,000m later in the afternoon.
“Today’s race was exceptional! I had a hard time believing my time when I crossed the finish line. It was quite possibly the best race of my career, but I think I have what it takes to do even better. I have the legs to put forth some great performances this season and I’m excited to see what is next.”Laurent Dubreuil
“I’m really proud of myself. This year, I want to prove to myself that I can still compete at this level, and I think I accomplished that with today’s race.”Carolina Hiller
“I’m really happy with my race today. I wanted to be aggressive and stuck to that plan. I was quite nervous going into the race, but happy that things turned out well.”Isabelle Weidemann
“It was a decent race, but I’m still discovering my limits. I let the lap times creep up near the end. If I would have kept flat lap times during the middle of the race, I would have had a better time.”Ted-Jan Bloemen