A record-breaking day for long track at the Canada Winter Games

The second day of long track speed skating at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta saw 30 medals handed out to 25 competitors who set three new Canada Winter Games (CWG) records and four new track records!

The distances raced on February 17 were the 500m and the team pursuit. In the 500m, competitors race two races - one in each lane (outer and inner) - to create an even playing field due to the varying difficulties of skating a smaller or larger radius in the last corner. In the team pursuit, it is simply winner takes all as 4-person teams use strategy and teamwork to complete an 8-lap race for the men and a 6-lap race for the women.

In the first women’s race of the day, the 500m, it was an all blue podium with Brooklyn McDougall (AB) surrounded by the fleur-de-lis as Rose Laliberte-Roy (QC) finished second and Veronique Dery (QC) third. McDougall broke the CWG record in her first race, winning the race by over a second, and then bettered that record in the very next race (40.21) to finish with a combined time that was nearly 3 seconds faster than the next competitor.

The men’s 500m podium was quite similar, as Tyson Langelaar (MB) came out on top followed two Quebec athletes, Cedric Brunet (QC) and Antoine Gagnon-Lamarche (QC). Brunet held the lead after the first race and faced off against Langelaar in the second round of the 500m. It was a good battle but Brunet lost his stride going into the final corner of the race and Langelaar was crowned the Champion. Langelaar missed the CWG record by less than .2 of a second.

Next up was the team pursuit event where Team Quebec came out on top for the women and Team Alberta for the men. The final podium for the women was: Quebec (gold), Alberta (silver), British Columbia (bronze). The men’s podium included Alberta (gold), Quebec (silver) and Ontario (bronze).  

The Quebec women skated perfectly in sync and were rewarded with the gold medal and a new CWG record in a time of 3:28.70. They beat their competition in tremendous fashion, winning the race by nearly 5 seconds. The Alberta men’s team ran away with the victory, using flawless execution and perfect synchronicity to finish more than 11 seconds ahead of the next team and also set a new CWG record of 4:05.41.

Saturday, February 16 also saw track and CWG records as McDougall and Langelaar took home gold in the 1500m events. McDougall was accompanied on the podium by Rose-Anne Grenier (QC) in second and Emmanuelle Cote (QC) in third. On the men’s side, Kaleb Muller (AB) finished in second and Matthew Laxton (ON) placed third. For all athletes except Langelaar, this was their first podium performance in a Canada Winter Games competition.  

The next competition day for long track speed skating will be Tuesday, February 19 and will feature the men’s 5000m and women’s 3000m events. Come cheer on your Canada Winter Games competitors at Great Chief Park in Red Deer!