HAMAR, Norway — Laurent Dubreuil was the top Canadian on the second day of competition at the speed skating World Cup, earning a fifth-place finish in the men's 500-metre race on Saturday.

Dubreuil, of Levis, Que., posted a time of 34.812 seconds, 0.16 seconds behind gold medalist Pavel Kulizhnikov of Russia (34.652) and 0.041 seconds back of bronze medalist Dai Dai Ntab of the Netherlands (34.771).

"It was my best result of the season and it was super encouraging," said Dubreuil, who also finished fifth in the 500 at the World Cup in Obihiro. "I think I had the legs to win a medal or maybe even win the race. My legs were there, but I was just missing a little bit.

"Four one-hundredths of a second off the podium is really a miniscule gap."

Dubreuil, Canada's top ranked sprinter, also finished 17th (1:11.057) in the men's 1,000, one spot behind Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., who was 16th (1:10.959).

Heather McLean of Winnipeg finished 11th in the women's 1000m and 13th in the 500. Kaylin Irvine of Calgary was 12th in the 1,000.

"My racing in both the 500 and 1,000 is becoming more consistent, which is something I've been working on this season," said McLean. "I'm not where I want to be quite yet, but the most motivating aspect is seeing how much room for improvement there is after each race."