Women's pursuit team wins World Cup gold in Norway, Dubreuil takes 500 silver

STAVANGER, Norway — Canada won gold in the women's team pursuit and silver in the men's 500 metres Saturday on the second day of the season-opening speedskating World Cup stop.

Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais combined to win the team pursuit in three minutes 1.81 seconds.

The Netherlands took silver and Japan earned bronze.

Weidemann and Blondin, both from Ottawa, and Maltais of Saguenay, Que., have dominated the event recently, winning the team pursuit at the 2022 Beijing Olympics in February and claiming three gold medals last World Cup season.

Weidemann added to her medal count in Stavanger, Norway after taking bronze in the women's 3,000 metres on Friday.

"We haven't been training together as much for the team P\pursuit, so we were all a bit nervous going into the race," Blondn said. "But it's like we haven't skipped a beat and it was really nice to get back together and show what we can do."

Meanwhile, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., finished second in the men's 500 with a time of 34.75 seconds.

Skating in the final pair, Dubreuil overcame a slower opening split to post the second quickest time of the day.

Japan's Yuma Murakami (34.708) was the winner, while South Korea's Jun-Ho Kim (35.017) took bronze.

Dubreuil was the World Cup 500-metre champion last season after winning 10 medals over 12 races.

"I am obviously happy to start the season with a podium," Dubreuil said. "It's clear that I would have preferred the gold medal, especially being only five hundredths of a second off the pace and way ahead of bronze.

"My start needs to be more explosive so I can get off the line faster. But this is a great start to to the season."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 12, 2022.

The Canadian Press