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Laurent Dubreuil wins silver for Canada in speed skating at Beijing Olympics

Click to play video: 'Beijing Olympics: Canada takes home silver and bronze in freeski halfpipe, silver in speed skating'
Beijing Olympics: Canada takes home silver and bronze in freeski halfpipe, silver in speed skating
WATCH: Canada takes home silver and bronze in freeski halfpipe, silver in speed skating – Feb 18, 2022

Canadian speed-skater Laurent Dubreuil won his first-ever Olympic medal in the men’s 1,000-metre final at the Beijing Olympics on Friday.

The 29-year-old from Levis, Que. got off to a fast start in his final skate, but came up 0.40 seconds shy of the gold medal, which was won by Thomas Krol of the Netherlands with a time of 1:07.92 seconds.

Dubreuil skated 1:08.32 for silver, and Haavard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway won bronze with a time of 1:08.48.

Laurent Dubreuil of Canada reacts after winning the silver medal in the final heat during the men’s speed skating 1,000-metre finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Feb. 18 in Beijing, China. Ashley Landis/AP

The victory was redemption of sorts for the two-time Olympian, who narrowly missed out on a medal in the 500-metre event earlier in the Games when he finished three-hundredths of a second behind the third-place finisher. Dubreuil is the reigning world champion in the 500-metres event.

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“It’s crazy to win a medal in the 1,000 and not in the 500. That’s not what I would have bet on,” he said.

“As much as it was disappointing and a letdown six days ago, this is incredible and a huge surprise for me. I knew I could do it. My mindset was just go out there, skate light, free and create a surprise. I didn’t quite win, but it feels like a win for me.”

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Dubreuil’s strong skate had gold-medallist Krol waiting tensely on the sidelines as he watched the Canadian race in the final pairing of the event.

“When (Dubreuil) didn’t make my time I was just overwhelmed with emotions,” he said, adding that he called his girlfriend after winning the top prize to share the moment with her.

Men’s 1,000-metre speed skating gold medallist Thomas Krol of the Netherlands (centre), silver medallist Laurent Dubreuil of Canada (left) and bronze medallist Haavard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway wave from the podium at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 18. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Teammates Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu and Connor Howe also competed for Canada, but did not contend for a podium spot.

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Canada has now won 24 medals at the Beijing Games so far.

— with files from The Canadian Press and Reuters.

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