Cédrick Brunet could have made a mistake after missing his selection for the World Championships in Calgary by seven hundredths of a second in the 500 meters on Saturday afternoon.
With the season he has just had, the skater from Gatineau wanted to rejoice at having achieved the best 500m of his career at sea level.
“It’s both heartbreaking and very motivating,” summed up Brunet, who had to be the best Canadian in Group B at the Speed Skating World Cup in Quebec to punch his ticket to Alberta. His young compatriot and neighbor across the hall Yankun Zhao gave him the precious ticket on the line.
“It was a show until the end! underlined the one who achieved a time of 35.32 sec. I thought I had passed him, but he had a better last turn than me. That’s where he came to get me. »
It wasn’t the perfect race, but it was one of the good ones in my life.
“The last year has not been easy. I had a hard time doing all of my 500s quite well. It was one of the first ones that I managed to start doing well. I can’t be disappointed. »
Meteorite arrival on the national scene with a second place behind Laurent Dubreuil in the fall of 2021, Cédrick Brunet thought he was on his way to glory. What followed was painful at times.
“At the bottom, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. At the heights, you are like on a cloud, on top of the world. It’s not like school. If you study well, you will have a good exam. In skating and in all sports, if you train hard, the results may not come. »
Hindsight – and Saturday’s good performance – allows him to philosophize.
“I expected my progress to be more consistent. Every athlete thinks it will go quickly. You get brought back to earth pretty quickly… But it took that away from me: it’s as if I had learned to run before I walked. (…) There, I am heading in the right direction. I know how to skate technically much better. »
Laliberté-Roy senses progress
Author of a rare false start which she attributes to the “feverility” of this first World Cup at home, Rose Laliberté-Roy recovered at the second shot, en route to the 11e Group B time in the women’s 500m (39.32 sec). “Normally, I am very stable, but you have to believe that it was the nerves that gave out,” she admitted. It destabilized me a little, but I’m happy with my race in general. »
Third Canadian, the athlete from Saint-Étienne-de-Lauzon was therefore unable to qualify for the World Championships. “Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about it at the start of the year,” said the 25-year-old skater. I know I’m in the mix, but that will be for next year. »
After a personal best achieved at the Four Continents Championships in Salt Lake City last month, Laliberté-Roy feels ready for the end of the season, starting with the second 500m on Sunday. “The progress is there, both technically and in terms of time. The end of last year was very difficult. It’s like the opposite is happening this year. I am very happy. »