Winnipeg, February 3, 2016 – A total of 100 long track speed skaters from across the country will be in action this weekend, February 5-7, at the Susan Auch Oval in Winnipeg, located at the Cindy Klassen Recreation Center (999, Sargeant Avenue), for the 2016 Canadian Junior Long Track Championships and Canada Cup #3.
Many members of Speed Skating Canada’s Development/NextGEN group will be in action including Mikhail Choi of Calgary, Braden Clouthier of Dawson Creek, B.C., Sam Deckert of Winnipeg, MB, Daniel Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, Christopher Fiola of Montréal (Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough), Jacob Graham of Dawson Creek, B.C., and Cooper Hunter of DeWinton, AB.
The junior skaters will aim for spots at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships to be held March 11-13 in Changchun, China.
Skaters who will take part in the Canada Cup #3 will look to improve their Canadian ranking. Canada Cup competitions are a series of events where athletes can gain points for each distance towards season-ending rankings to proceed with national high performance program athletes’ selection and identification, and is a competition for senior and junior A, B, C2 athletes, this last category being for the skaters born between July 1st, 2000, and June 30, 2001.
First races of the 500m as well as the 1500m event will be held Friday, February 5. On the schedule for Saturday, is the first 1000m event, the women's 3000m and men’s 5000m. On Sunday, the second races of the 500m and 1000m events as well as the mass start events will close the competition. Races start at 9 am daily.
Objective for the juniors: a participation to the World Championships in China
Following the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships, Speed Skating Canada will select up to four men and four women, two per gender for the sprint events and two others for the allround competition, who will represent Canada at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Changchun, China, March 11-13, as long as athletes meet ISU time standards.
The first two athletes per gender in the overall ranking of the four events at the Canadian Junior Long Track Championships, based on the sammelagt ranking, including the best performance in the 500m and the 1000m, in addition to the 1500m, and the women’s 3000m or men’s 5000m, will be selected to the Canadian team for the 2016 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships.
Also, the best two athletes in the sprint events, based on the combined time of the two 500m as well as the best time in one or the other 1000m of the weekend, will get their ticket for the competition.
By qualifying for the World Cup in Stavanger, Norway, held last weekend, Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, ON, who was also a member of the Junior National Team last year, automatically qualified for the 2016 ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships, which means that a total of three spots will be available in the men’s side.
Christopher Fiola, another member of the Junior National Team last year, will try to punch his ticket to the World juniors again this year. Isabelle Weidemann and Alex Ruel-Garvey, now both senior skaters, were also members of the Junior National Team last year.
In Changchun, China, the skaters will take part in the following events: 500m, 1000m, 1500m, women’s 3000m, men’s 5000m, team pursuit, team sprint and mass start.
Athletes for the team pursuit, team sprint and mass start events will be selected among the qualified skaters by the coaching staff.
More info, including the full schedule and results, are available on Speed Skating Canada’s Website: www.speedskating.ca.