Canada’s long track speed skaters won two more medals on home ice at the World Cup season finale in Quebec City on Saturday.
Two-time Olympian Laurent Dubreuil, who hails from nearby Lévis, claimed silver in the men’s 500 metres with a time of 34.59 seconds at the Centre de glaces Intact Assurance. American phenom Jordan Stolz, 19, edged Dubreuil for gold by just 0.08 seconds, with Japan’s Yuma Murakami taking bronze (34.67).
Dubreuil will have his sights on gold, and the overall World Cup title, in the second men’s 500m event of the meet on Sunday. He is currently ranked second in the standings, 19 points behind Japan’s Wataru Morishige (445).
Dubreuil reached the podium in the B Division on Friday, winning the men’s 1,000m.
WATCH l Dubreuil skates to silver in 500m:
“It’s going to be great memories for the rest of my life, having skated in a World Cup at home and winning a silver medal, behind one of the best skaters of all time in Jordan Stolz,” Dubreuil said.
“Of course, I would have loved to win gold, but in the end, I had a good race and I skated with passion. Finishing second behind Jordan is nothing to be sad about. I’ll have another chance tomorrow and I’m going to try to go for gold!”
Canmore, Alta., native Connor Howe captured bronze earlier on Saturday in the men’s 1,500m, clocking 1:45.73 for his first individual distance medal of the season. The 23-year-old beat two-time Olympic medallist Hallgeir Engebråten of Norway for the podium spot by 0.26 seconds.
Stolz set a track record in a time of 1:44.01, while China’s Ning Zhongyan claimed silver (1:44.79).
WATCH l Howe reaches 1,500m podium:
“It’s a really good feeling to be back skating well, like I was last year,” Howe said. “I was missing it a bit at the start of the season, so I’m happy with the confidence boost that it gives me in the lead up to world championships.
“It’s always nice to feel the love from a Canadian crowd and the fans here in Quebec were amazing. One of the best crowds of the season, in my opinion.”
The opening day of competition on Friday saw Calgary’s Ted-Jan Bloemen set a track record in the men’s 5,000m (6:13.87), while Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., bagged bronze in the women’s 3,000m to secure her first career overall World Cup podium, finishing third in the women’s long distances.
Maltais and Blondin will compete in the women’s mass start on Sunday, where they are ranked first and second in the standings, respectively.
The final World Cup stop will be followed by the world championships in Calgary (Feb. 15-18).