Dubreuil & de Haître clock fastest sprint times in the world this season on last day of Canadian Single Distance Long Track Speed Skating Championships

Laurent Dubreuil and Vincent de Haître skated the fastest sprint times in the world this season, Monday, as they went on to win the men’s 500m and 1000m races, respectively, on the last day of the Canadian Single Distance Long Track Speed Skating Championships at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

Dubreuil, of Levis Que., crossed the line in 34.50 seconds in the 500m. De Haître of Cumberland, Ont., followed in the 1000m with a winning time of one minute and 7.63 seconds. Both are also personal bests.

Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia had the previous fastest 500m this season, a 34.58 skated at the Heerenveen World Cup on Dec. 14. The previous fastest 1000m in the world, this season, was raced by de Haître himself, in a time of 1:07.71 at the Canadian fall World Cup trials, Oct. 26.

Gilmore Junio of Calgary, who won Sunday's 500m, was second in Monday's 500m in 34.55. Jamie Gregg of Edmonton took the bronze in 34.82.

“On my last corner, I was going faster than I’ve ever gone, so I had a hard time hanging on to the turn and attacking it,” Dubreuil said of his skate on the way to victory. “I definitely left a tenth, a tenth-and-a-half of a second out there, but it’s still my personal best. It’s a good race. It’s up to par with the World Cup races where I’ve won medals this season.”

De Haître's time of 1:07.63 means he skated faster than he did when he won Sunday’s 1000m (1:08.39). Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., earned silver in Monday's race with a time 1:08.02, while Junio picked up the bronze in 1:08.59.

“I felt really tired today and I didn’t think I could repeat my performance from fall trials,” de Haître said. “It turns out I could and I surprised myself, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Dubreuil opted out of Monday's 1000m, satisfied that his time of 1:08.40, good for second place in Sunday's 1000m, was good enough to stand up and combine with his 500m to qualify him for the upcoming World Sprint Championships.

Skaters taking part in the Canadian Single Distance Championships this weekend were looking for spots in the two winter World Cups, Jan. 31-Feb. 1 in Hamar, Norway, and Feb. 7-8 in Heerenveen, Netherlands, World Single Distance Championships Feb. 12-15 in Heerenveen, World Sprint Championships Feb. 28-March 1 in Astana, Kazakhstan, and World All Round Championships March 7-8 in Calgary.

The official skater selections and full teams for these events will be announced by Speedskating Canada at a later date.

Gold for McLean, Oudenaarden, Blondin and Watson
Also Monday, Heather McLean won her second straight 500m in as many days, and Tamara Oudenaarden took gold at the second women’s 1000m of the Championships. Ivanie Blondin and Rob Watson closed the Nationals with mass start victories.

In the women's 500m, McLean posted a second-straight personal best to win in 38.34 seconds. The Winnipeg athlete had skated a 38.41 to win Sunday’s 500m.

Second behind McLean both days was Jessica Gregg of Edmonton, a long track newcomer who finished Monday's 500m race in 38.38. Gregg was an Olympian in short track before making the switch to the oval this year. Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., was third in 38.72.

Kali Christ of Regina opted out of Monday’s 1000m on the women's side, after posting a 1:16.09 in that distance on Sunday to win handily. Oudenaarden of Edmonton captured Monday’s 1000m in 1:17.53. Gregg was second in 1:17.83 and Alexandra Ianculescu of Toronto finished third in 1:17.90.

Ottawa’s Blondin, who has two mass start victories so far this World Cup season, edged Christ in Monday's mass start race. Victoria Spence of Kamloops, B.C., took the bronze.

Like Blondin, Watson, of Whitby, Ont., repeated his mass start win from the fall World Cup trials. Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg was second in Monday's race and Nick Goplen of Calgary was third.

Canada Cup #2
In the Canada Cup #2 races, Keira Poelzer of Calgary won the women’s 500m in 39.94. Maddison Pearman of Ponoka, Alta., took the silver and Béatrice Lamarche of Quebec City, the bronze.

Pearman won the women's 1000m, with Geanne Blais-Dufour of Quebec City collecting the silver and Hee Won Son of Calgary, the bronze.

Christopher Fiola of Montreal won the men’s 500m in 36.18. Alex Ruel-Garvey of Calgary was second and Jordan Henkelman, also of Calgary, third. Fiola also won the men’s 1000m, in 1:11.55, followed by Ruel-Garvey and Magne Notland from Norway.

Véronique Déry of Quebec won the women's mass start, followed by Ashley Nelson and Sara Spence, who are both from B.C., while Antoine Roger led a Quebec sweep in the men's mass start. Jean-Christophe Pouliot won the silver and Marc-André Poudrier-Michaud, the bronze.
More information, including full results, can be found on Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 13,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Jeff MacKinnon   
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Patrick Godbout
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Speed Skating Canada
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