Dutton wins Canadian speed skating title

Former Olympian skates to men's 500-metre championship in long track event at Calgary's Olympic Oval

William Dutton

William Dutton

William Dutton, the former Olympian who briefly retired from competitive speed skating in 2015, continued to shine in his comeback Thursday when he won the men’s 500-metre long track championship at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

Dutton, 27, who lives in Humboldt, Sask., edged Laurent Dubreuil of Quebec by three-hundreths of a second in the final pairing, in 34.63 seconds. Starting in the inside lane, Dutton trailed Dubreuil at the 100-metre split but made up ground as the race went on.

Dutton is the son of Qualicum Beach’s Craig and Linda Dutton, and grandson of Bill Dutton, owner of Pheasant Glen Golf Resort.

He was a member of the Canadian National Team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Following the 2014-15 season, he announced his retirement from the sport, but was coaxed into a return when Team Canada hired Kevin Crockett as its sprint speed coach.

Dutton continues to train under Crockett at The Olympic Oval, where he parlayed home ice into Thursday’s championship win in the four-day Canadian Long Track Single Distance Championships.

After uniting with Crockett, Dutton went on to win medals in his first five World Cup races of the 2015 season. After winning bronze and silver medals in the season-opening events in Calgary on Nov. 13 and 15, 2015, he traveled with the Canadian Sprint Team to Salt Lake City the following week. In Utah Dutton again earned a bronze and a silver in two 500-metre races, then teamed with fellow Canadians Alex St. Jean and Vincent debater to win gold in the team sprint competition, in a world-record time of 1:17.75.

He has raced five times in three World Cup events this season, cracking the top-10 in the season opener in Harbin, China in the first of two 500-metre races. He ranks 21st in World Cup season points despite missing the fourth event of the year in Heerenveen, Netherlands, in December.

The next World Cup event is scheduled for Jan. 27-29 in Berlin, Germany.

— NEWS Staff

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