Canada’s speed skating team capped its last warm-up for the world championship with a pair of sprint bronze medals from Laurent Dubreuil on Sunday.
The 28-year-old from Levis, Que., was third in the World Cup men’s 500 and 1,000-metres a day after taking silver in another 500.
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.
Canada’s speed skaters faced the added challenge of no ice to skate on at Calgary’s Olympic Oval because of a mechanical failure in September.
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 three-hundredths of a second back of Dutch winner Ronald Muller’s 34.594 seconds in Sunday’s 500 metres. Hein Otterspeer of the Netherland was second in 34.590.
Dubreuil was the only non-Dutchman in the top five of the 1,000 metres.
Kai Verbij was the victor in one minute 7.355 seconds ahead of teammate Thomas Krol in 1:07.581 and Dubreuil in 1:08.185.