Laurent Dubreuil blazed his way to being national champion in the men’s 500-metre long track speedskating race on Thursday.
The Levis, Que., native, who holds the Canadian record in the event (33.77), crossed the finish line with a time of 34.379 to grab gold. Cedrick Brunet (35.500) and Christopher Fiola (35.541) earned silver and bronze, respectively.
“Today’s race was exceptional,” Dubreuil said. “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.”
Dubreuil, 30, won silver in the 1000-metre at the Beijing Olympics in February, days after missing the podium in the 500 by 0.03 seconds.
He became Canada’s first world champion in the 500 since 2008 when he won gold in 2021.
In the women’s 3000-metre, Isabelle Weidemann claimed gold with a time of 4:00.206, finishing ahead of teammates Ivanie Blondin (4:06.133) of Ottawa and Valerie Maltais (4:07.369) of Saguenay, Que. The trio won gold together at the Beijing Games in the team pursuit.
Weidemann, who also won bronze in the 3000 and silver in the 5000 at the Olympics, was pleased with her performance.
“I’m really happy with my race today. I wanted to be aggressive and stuck to that plan,” the Ottawa native said. “I was quite nervous going into the race, but happy that things turned out well.”
Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary won the national title in the men’s 5000-metre, posting a time of 6:16.161. Jordan Belchos (6:23.778) and Graeme Fish (6:24.934) took silver and bronze, respectively.
Prince George, B.C., native Carolina Hiller earned her first national title with a victory in the women’s 500. Hiller crossed the line with a time of 38.420.
Calgary’s Brooklyn McDougall took silver (38.599), while Blondin grabbed bronze (38.953).