Calgary, January 3, 2016 – Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa won her first-ever senior gold medal in the women’s 3000m, Sunday, on the first day of Speed Skating Canada’s 2016 Canadian Single Distance Long Track Championships, held at Calgary Olympic Oval until Wednesday.
Weidemann, age 20, clocked a time of 4:11.41 to win the event in front of Ivanie Blondin (4:11.91) of Ottawa and Josie Spence (4:12.75) of Kamloops, B.C.
Blondin, already pre-qualified in the 3000m for World Cup #5 in Stavanger, Norway, January 29-31, as well as for the World Single Distance Championships, February 11-14 in Kolomna, Russia, will be accompanied by up to three other women nominated by Team Canada to compete in Norway. The top competitor at that World Cup, aside from Blondin, will qualify for the World Single Distance Championships, where the Canadian women have two spots in the 3000m.
This performance nominates Weidemann to be selected for World Cup #5 and to battle for the second Canadian spot for this event at the World Single Distance Championships.
“I’m pretty excited. I didn’t expect it from how I had been skating in the fall, but it feels really great,” said Weidemann. “I hope to improve my ranking to a top-10 spot internationally and hopefully skate some more personal bests, and learn a lot in the process.”
Jordan Belchos wins 5000m
Jordan Belchos of Toronto, Ontario, was golden in the men’s 5000m event held Sunday with a time of 6:30.58.
Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, Ontario, finished second (6:31.10) while Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, QC, took third spot (6:38.49).
Canada will send up to five men in the 5000m event in Stavanger where the top skater, apart from Ted-Jan Bloemen, will qualify for the World Single Distance Championships. Canada has two spots in the 5000m for that competition. Bloemen, currently ranked fifth in the world, is pre-qualified in the 5000m for World Cup #5 and the World Single Distance Championships, but he is not racing this week while he is still recovering from an injury he sustained in December.
“I didn’t feel great the whole race, but I want the whole year to be a process working up to World Championships,” said Belchos. “There’s always going to be highs and lows for sure. I think today, it was nice to see some of the younger guys skating really well.”
“I’ve had some really good races this season. I don’t expect every race to be great, so it’s just a process and I’m going to try to take what I can from today, as well as from previous races that I’ve done, to build on that and try to race really well at World Championships,” explained Belchos.
Keri Morrison wins Canada Cup #2 3000m
Short Track National Development Team member Keri Morrison of Burlington, ON, won the women’s 3000m in the second Long Track Canada Cup of the season with a time of 4:22.38. While Morrison is still training short track, she is trying her hand at long track.
“I’m just doing things that make me happy right now and that includes long track,” explained Morrison. “I have lots of things to work on, such as building confidence during a race, but I think it was pretty good considering it was my first-ever 3000m race.”
“I haven’t really set out a full plan but I’m enjoying racing long track right now and I will probably do more races this season,” said Morrison.
Morrison will be competing in the Canadian Single Distance Championships portion of the competition, in the 1500m, on Wednesday, January 6.
Monday, the 500m events, men’s 10,000m and women’s 5000m of the Canadian Single Distance Championships will be held as well as the 500m and 1000m races of the Canada Cup.
Podiums from Sunday’s competition:
Canadian Single Distance Championships
1. Isabelle Weidemann, ON (4:11.41)
2. Ivanie Blondin, ON (4:11.91)
3. Josie Spence, B.C. (4:12.75)
1. Jordan Belchos, ON (6:30.58)
2. Ben Donnelly, ON (6:31.10)
3. Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu, QC (6:38.49)
1. Keri Morrison, ON (4:22.38)
2. Lindsey Kent, MB (4:34.51)
3. Carolina Hiller, BC (4:36.05)
1. Laurent Marcotte, QC (6:54.53)
2. Tyson Langelaar, MB (6:58.26)
3. Adrian Hannigan, AB (7:08.07)
More information, including full schedule and a link to the results, can be found on Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.