McLean & Dubreuil Finish World Sprint Championships Ranked 12th Overall

Irvine ranked 14th and Fiola ranked 19th after weekend of races in Heerenveen

HEERENVEEN, NETHERLANDS – Canadian long track skaters Heather McLean and Laurent Dubreuil both finished ranked 12th overall at the 2019 ISU World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands this weekend.

McLean of Winnipeg, Man. was the top female skater of the competition, finishing the weekend ranked 12th overall and +6.00 seconds behind the leader. The result matched the second highest ranking of her career (2016), behind only her seventh-place finish from 2017.

“‘I am happy for the experience of another world sprint championships, but day two of racing was disappointing,” said McLean. “It’s motivating for summer training and next fall for sure!”

McLean earned her best race result of the weekend with a 10th place (38.12) finish in the 500m on Sunday. She was also 15th in the 1000m with a time of 1:16.66. Yesterday she finished 11th in the 500m and 12th in the 1000m.

Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, Alta., broke into the top 15 on the ladies’ side with a 14th overall ranking, +8.00 seconds behind first-place. Her previous best was 22nd overall in her only other world sprint appearance in 2012.

Irvine was 11th (38.24) in the 500m and 17th (1:16.66) in the 1000m on Sunday, posting times that were slightly faster than those from Saturday that saw her finish 13th (38.38) in the 500m and 16th in the 1000m (1:16.92).

“I had fun this weekend,” said Irvine. “I had my fastest 500’s in the Thialf and my 1000m’s were a good learning experience. I am motivated by my good results and by what I can improve on.”

Japan’s Nao Kodaira was crowned ladies’ world champion for the second time in her career, having also won it all in 2017 in Calgary. Joining her on the podium was fellow Japanese skater Miho Takagi (+0.77) and American Brittany Bowe (+1.03), who medaled at the world championship for the fourth time in her career.

On the men’s side, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que. finished the competition ranked 12th overall, +5.00 seconds behind first. It marked the sixth time of his career that Dubreuil cracked the top 15 at the world sprint championships.

Dubreuil earned a seventh-place (35.05) result in the 500m and 12th place (1:09.83) finish in the 1000m on Sunday, adding to the 10th place (35.05) and 13th place (1:09.75) finishes in those same distances from Saturday.

“It was amazing skating in Thialf with so many fans, truly a special experience,” admitted Dubreuil. “I think I managed to do well even though I didn't feel I had my best form this weekend. Overall, a very fun world championships.”

Christopher Fiola of Montreal, Que. finished 19th overall at the first world sprint championships of his career. His weekend includes a pair of 17th place results in the 500m, along with a 20th and 21st place finish in the 1000m.

“I'm happy with this weekend races,” said Fiola. “It was a good first experience and the crowd was amazing.”

“I didn't put too much pressure on myself and I was happy that I could enjoy racing. I think I had some very fast openers and I know what to work on for next year. I am looking forward to the next one and I know there is room for improvement which is good.”

Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia won his the third world sprint championship title of his career. He was joined on the podium by Tatsuya Shinhama of Japan (+0.83) and Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands (+0.94).

Visit the ISU Results Portal for detailed results from each race.