Laurent Dubreuil during a race.PhotographieTB/ Speed Skating Canada
PhotographieTB/ Speed Skating Canada

Dubreuil adds another silver, Howe claims bronze in final stop of World Cup season

In the final stop of the 2023-24 World Cup of Speed Skating, Canadians are vying for overall podium positions in front of a home crowd in Québec City. Through two days they’ve added four medals, with two on Saturday coming courtesy of Laurent Dubreuil and Connor Howe.

Defending 500m World Cup champ Laurent Dubreuil is giving himself a shot at the overall title thanks to a strong close to the season. His silver today was the fourth consecutive time he’s finished in the top two in the 500m.

His time of 34.59 on Saturday was only beat by American Jordan Stolz. Yuma Murakami of Japan finished third.

With the final race on Sunday, Dubreuil, who sits in second place in the overall standings, will need a big jump on Sunday in order to pass the leader Wataru Morishige of Japan as he currently sits 19 points behind. However it’s not impossible, as Dubreuil has made up 65 points in the last three races to close the gap. Morishige finished in seventh place on Saturday.

In the men’s 1500m, Connor Howe claimed his first podium of the season thanks to a bronze medal finish on Saturday. With a time of 1:45.73, Howe was beat out only by the U.S.’ Jordan Stolz (who set a new track record with a time of 1:44.01), and China’s Zhongyan Ning 1:44.79.

The 23-year-old Howe finishes the season in fifth place.

READ: Team pursuit, Blondin secure gold; Dubreuil adds silver, Maltais and Bloemen take bronze

Bloemen sets track record and Maltais claims first career overall podium

On Friday, it was two-time Olypic medallist Ted-Jan Bloemen giving a world-class performance in the 5000m.

Bloemen broke his own track record with a time of six minutes, and 13.87 seconds. He originally set the Québec City track record with a time of 6:16.16 in October 2022.

“I was kind of surprised with the track record,” Bloemen told Speed Skating Canada. “I didn’t expect it before the race, but as the race went on, I felt I was skating well and that it could happen. We’re all so excited to be skating at a World Cup on home ice.”

Bloemen was joined on the podium by Davide Ghiotto of Italy (+3.31) and Hallgeir Engebråten of Norway (+3.69).

Bloemen finished the World Cup campaign ranked second overall in the long distances category, trailing only Italy’s Ghiotto by 33 points.

On the women’s side, La Baie, Que. native Valérie Maltais clinched her first career overall World Cup podium in her home province with a bronze in the 3000m. It’s the second straight bronze for Maltais in the 3000m, who crossed the line with a time of 4:02.73. Dutch skater Irene Schouten won gold (4:01.11), while teammate Joy Beune took home silver (4:02.62).

Isabelle Weidemann missed the podium by just 0.06 second to finish in fourth place.