Laurent Dubreuil of Team Canada skates in the men's 500m event in Polan. (Speed Skating Canada/International Skating Union)(Speed Skating Canada/International Skating Union)
(Speed Skating Canada/International Skating Union)

Dubreuil wins 500m gold, Blondin captures mass start silver at World Cup in Poland

Laurent Dubreuil had himself a weekend to remember at the ISU World Cup in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, capturing a gold medal in the men’s 500m event on Sunday after racing to a silver medal in the first 500m event on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Quebec City native skated the distance in 34.77 seconds before edging ahead of that mark with a time of 34.72 in Sunday’s event.

Dubreuil finished in between China’s Tingyu Gao, and current 500m World Cup leader Wataru Morishige of Japan in the weekend’s first 500m. In an extremely competitive result, Gao narrowly beat out Dubreuil finishing with a time of 34.70 seconds. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Gao grabbed the silver medal Poland’s Damiam Zurek captured the bronze.

Sunday’s podium also marked the 30th World Cup medal of Dubreuil’s career.

Dubreuil is the two-time reigning World Cup champion in the 500m. He currently sits in fourth place for the 2023-24 season.

The two podiums also vault him up the men’s 5,000m World Cup standings, after he also captured a silver medal in a November race in Beijing. He sits on 318 points, now in second, having entered the weekend fourth. Japan’s Wataru Morshige leads the World Cup standings.

Canada’s Ivanie Blondin also landed on the podium on Sunday, finishing in the silver medal position in the women’s mass start, only trailing Dutch skater Irene Schouten, who moved to within eight World Cup points of Blodin in the World Cup standings for the event. American skater Mia Kilburg-Manganello took the top spot on Sunday, maintaining her lead atop the standings as well. At the same time, Saguenay’s Valérie Maltais finished sixth.

Also on Saturday, the women’s pursuit team of Ivanie Blondin, Valérie Maltais, and Beatrice Lamarche raced to a second consecutive silver medal.

Canada’s last silver came in the most recent women’s pursuit race in Obihiro, Japan, in November, with Isabelle Weidemann racing instead of Lamarche. The new trio improved on that time, jumping from 3:03.24 to 2:59.25. Despite the improvement, it was not good enough to catch Japan who won their second consecutive gold in the event.

The silver is the first medal in the distance without Isabelle Weidemann since the 2018-19 season.

Poland rounded out the podium in third place.

Topping off the men’s competition in Poland on Sunday, veteran Ted-Jan Bloemen skated to a fourth-place finish in the 5000m, crossing the finish line in a time of 8:26.25, trailing Italian skater Davide Ghiotto and the final spot on the podium by 1.7 seconds.

READ: Canada wins silver in women’s pursuit at Obihiro World Cup