Laurent Duprell had just shared a bottle of champagne with the team crew when his head in a shaved Mohawk appeared on a computer screen Saturday evening.
Although his short season ended in the most beautiful way, he was far from celebrating.
“I can’t wait to finish all of my interviews and call my family to share this with them. I have had several parties. People are still talking to me about it and it’s been ten years! I’ve settled a little.”
The speed skater welcomed his second medal in 24 hours at the World Championships in Heerenveen. But satisfaction was not the same. Not because of the color – bronze instead of gold – like the method.
For the 1000 meters, skate well again. But if he gets to the podium, he owes him a fatal mistake by a Dutch figure skater. Thomas Kroll made not one, but two wrong starts, which earned him disqualification.
“I had just finished the race and was literally right next to him when it happened,” Dubreuil said. I couldn’t believe it. I knew she just gave me a bronze. ”
The wrong start at 500 meters, where the start is decisive, is not exceptional. Two are more rare. Up to 1000 m …
“It never happened,” Duprell said. This might be the first time in his life that this had happened to him. It might happen twice in a World Cup season, guys and girls alike. ”
The 28-year-old Quebec couldn’t fathom Kroll, the two-time gold medalist at the World Cup last month. It is “99%” certain that the Dutchman would have beaten him under normal circumstances.
“He smashed me half a second two weeks ago. I would have put my hand on fire if he did it again. When you like him like him, when you have made a wrong start, you have to be careful about the second. We must make sure not to move, even if that means a loss Five percent of the reaction time. Because we could win anyway. It was really a big mistake. It’s like surreal. ”
Dubreuil lived a little in Groundhog Day. At Worlds in Salt Lake City last year, the same Kroll hit him two hundred by 1,000 meters, before he was disqualified for damaging his lane neighbor. Al-Kindi also inherited the bronze.
He is a good friend of mine on tour. I really feel bad for him. My goal is to be the best skater in the world. It’s not about winning medals because people are not eligible. I would rather everyone race and be good enough to beat them. But what do you want, it’s his fault.
On an ice slower than he had been in the World Cup, enough to put a runner tending to “break” the last lap at a disadvantage, Dupre felt he had done well. And with Dutch future gold medalist Kai Verbig, he tried everything to limit the damage.
“Move, move, go get it!” », His coach Gregor Gilonic yelled in a straight line penultimate. “I heard it, but the information did not reach my leg!” Laughed Dubreuil, who had covered the distance in 1 minute 08.56 seconds.
Surpassed by Verbig 51 per cent, still beating Norwegian Havard Holmfjord Lorentzen (4H), Deputy Olympic champion. Russian Pavel Kolezhnikov, the defending champion and a silver medalist, came the previous day in the 500-meter race, between Monday at 1:08.31.
“I can be happy with my performance, which was really good. It didn’t happen to me much that I was so close to winning [au 1000 m]. All this in a season when we didn’t ski much. But I was lucky to be on the stage, this is undeniable. ”
Still wearing his hat from Friesland – he forgot it in Quebec, and a local family who had already hosted him sent him to the hotel – Dubreuil stepped the stage and showed three fingers. A sign for his daughter Rose, 19 months, who thus knows the rank he received.
In eight events in the Dutch bubble, the athlete from Levis received six medals. He is convinced he would have added seventh without resuming the race after an opponent fell during the first weekend. It’s enough to put it into orbit less than a year after the Beijing Olympics.
But he warns that it won’t excite me next year. It’s another year, and a lot will happen by then. I think it’s a mistake for a lot of athletes to always commit themselves. ”
He had his lesson. In 2014, when he was on the rise, he missed qualifying for the Sochi Games. “Leave me alone for the next few years. The moment I live in now will never return. In the end, if I could not think about the Olympics until I get on the plane, that would be the right strategy.”
With two medals in the same two worlds, four in total since the start of his career, Dubreuil has joined fellow countrymen such as Mikael Kingsbury (two golden times in Deer Valley in 2019), Charles Hamlin (two golden times in Montreal in 2018), and Eric Guay (gold and gold) silver In St. Moritz 2017) and Alex Harvey (silver and bronze in Fallon 2015).
He said, “I’m really happy.” Compared to myself, I am probably like a cloud. But it wouldn’t be the same cloud as most people. I am somewhat down to earth in general. After my victory [de vendredi]I tried to go ahead and think about my race [de samedi]. I think I’ll taste my victory even more in the next couple of weeks. ”
That’s okay, he still has another bottle of champagne.
Money for Blondin
The Canadian national team continued their surprise championship in Heerenveen on Saturday. Ivani Blondin won the silver in team chase, her fifth podium in the distance. She was defeated in the final race by Dutchman Marijk Groenwood.
“I was hoping to win the gold medal, but I gave it all and defeated me today, which is absolutely true,” said the French-Ontario, who is well accompanied by Valerie Maltese, everything throughout the ordeal. Eighth thanks to three points collected during an intermediate race, Maltais fell into the last corner and hit his head. However, I crossed the line after a minute and a half.
Treated by physiotherapists, it should line up on Sundays at an altitude of 1500m and 5000m. 2020 silver medalist, Ontario Jordan Belchus finishes this time at the bottom of the podium in a men’s hunt, which is ruled by American Joy Mantilla. 22-year-old Beatrice Lamarche achieved a personal peak as she finished 12th in the 1000 m race, crowning American Brittany Bowie for the third time. Veteran Alex Bouasvier Lacroix finished off his side 21H.