Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis won the second 500m of the Long Track Speed Skating World Cup on Saturday.
He is the fourth Quebec gold medalist in World Cup history. On this distance, he is the second after Sylvain Bouchard, almost 20 years ago.
Gaétan Boucher had two gold medals in the 1,000m (1985 and 1986) and Clara Hughes has won twice in the 3000m (2002 and 2004) and one in the 5000m (2005), in addition to her two wins in the pursuit by team (2004). Bouchard also won in the 1000m (1996).
“I have a mathematical mind so, when I see a statistic, I do not forget it,” said Dubreuil. I did not even see after my victory because I knew that the last time was Sylvain in 1998. It’s not something that motivates me, but when we look at the years that separate us, it’s is certain that it is an honor. It makes me a little without words, I did not expect that.
“I knew I had been able for many years. It only took me a good race and some rivals who have small failures. It’s really a great moment for me and for the National Speed Skating Center in Quebec. ”
Dubreuil crossed the finish line in 34.80 seconds, edging four Dutchmen. Jan Smeekens (+0.04 seconds) and Ronald Mulder (+0.05 seconds) finished in second and third places while their teammates Kai Verbij (+0.06 seconds) and Hein Otterspeer (+0.15 seconds) were respectively fourth and fifth.
“Everything I did less well (Friday), I corrected it,” said Dubreuil, third in the 500-meter group B on Friday. I made a start of 9.64 seconds in both cases. The 31 hundredths of a second difference is in the 500m lap. I knew I had a lot more to offer. ”
Saskatchewan’s William Dutton (+0.27 seconds) and Albertan Gilmore Junior (+0.33 seconds) finished in 12th and 14th place.
Dubreuil has taken another step in obtaining his ticket for the 2018 Olympic Games.
“You have to be in the top-5 overall and win at least one medal after the first four stages of the World Cup. If I had been given the option to win one of two 500m at the first World Cup and to be third overall after a competition, I would have said yes. ”
Without taking anything away from his performance, Dubreuil said his goal this year was the Olympics and not the World Cups.
“Those on the podium at the Olympics are those who have won a podium in the season. It is very rare for the 25th, who is having trouble making a top-10, to win the Games. I’m really happy to be at this point at this time, but I can and I have to eat another hundredths. It’s very good 34.80, but it does not make a podium in Pyeongchang. The guys are going to be even faster. I hope to be in those who will be able to cut off and get there with medal chances. ”