After Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen (NOR) in yesterday’s action, the second men’s 500m ended with another first-timer on the top spot of the podium at the ISU World Cup Speed Skating in Heerenveen on Saturday.
Laurent Dubreuil (CAN) took his maiden individual World Cup victory in 34.80 seconds. Jan Smeekens (NED), who was promoted to the A Group after winning the B Group on Friday, took silver in 34.84s and Ronald Mulder (NED) came third in 34.85s.
Dubreuil skated his winning race in the second pairing and, just like Lorentzen the day before, the Canadian had to sit through many races before he knew that the gold was ultimately his.
Smeekens, who had to start the World Cup season in the B Group on Friday because he finished only fifth in the Dutch National Championships, got close in the fifth pairing, but the reigning World Champion fell 0.04s short.
He was satisfied to be back at the highest level: “I don’t feel like I’m too good for the B Group, but I’m happy to be back of course,” Smeekens said.
“I was not angry or something, it’s my own fault, I should have been better at the National Championships.”