SPORTS

Laurent Dubreuil in 7th at the World Sprint Championships

02/28/2015 06:10 EST | Updated 04/30/2015 05:59 EDT
Canadian long track speed skater Laurent Dubreuil sits in seventh after the first day of competition at the World Sprint Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The Lévis, Que. native skated to his second-best time of the season in Saturday's 500 metre race, clocking in at 34.89 seconds. He finished just behind Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov and Dutch skater Michel Mulder. 

In the 1000 metre, Dubreuil clocked the 13th place time of 1:10.28.

“In the 500 metre, I had a real good start and I really took advantage of my pairing in the second straight,” said Dubreuil.

“I'm happy about my time, my second best lifetime except for races on the very fast surfaces in Calgary and Salt Lake City.

Following the first 500 metre and 1000 metre events, Dubreuil found himself 92 hundredths of a second away from the provisional overall leader, Kulizhnikov.

“My goal is to finish in the top-5 overall, so seventh is a bit less than I was hoping for,” said Dubreuil. “But I'm still in the hunt and I'll try to improve on my ranking tomorrow [Sunday].”

Saturday's top-3 finish was Dubreuil's sixth such result in 12 races in the 500 metre event so far this season at the international level.

The 22-year-old earned three bronze medals and one silver in that distance on the World Cup circuit.

With one more day of competition to go, Dubreuil has already improved on his result from last year's World Sprint Championships held in Nagano, Japan, where he earned a fourth-place finish in the men's 500. He ended up ninth in overall standings.

Canadians Gilmore Junio was 22nd and Jamie Gregg was 24th in the overall standings after the first day. 

The World Sprint Championship titles will be awarded on the basis of overall standings following Saturday's 500 metre and 1000 metre races, in addition to Sunday's 500 metre and 1000 metre events. 

MORE:cbcSports