Montreal, QC – The best 32 short track speed skaters in Canada will battle this weekend for the privilege to represent the country at the first four World Cups of the season, including the first two to be held on home soil in Montreal and in Toronto, at the Fall World Cups Selections, September 18-20, at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal.
Among the 16 men and 16 women who will be competing at the Fall World Cups Selections are Olympic medalists Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, François Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Olivier Jean and Guillaume Bastille, as well as the other Canadian representatives at the last World Championships, i.e. Kim Boutin, Kasandra Bradette, Samuel Girard, Patrick Duffy and Genève Bélanger. All participants will race twice in each of the scheduled distances, namely the 500m, 1000m and 1500m events.
The Oval will be well represented as Oval coached skaters Jamie MacDonald, Keri Morrision and Courtney Shmyr will all be competing. Last season Shmyr earned her first selection for the Canadian World Cup team as she would compete in the two North American stops on the Fall World Cup circuit – Salt Lake City and Montreal (Where she finished 7th in the 500m).
MacDonald had an impressive performance to take first place in the overall standings of Speed Skating Canada’s National Short Track Senior National Team Open Selection #2 to end the 2014-15 season in March. Morrison placed second in the event that marked the final opportunity to gather points towards their national rankings. The Oval based trio of Macdonald, Morrison and Shymr accumulated enough points to all finish the season in the Top 10 of the Canadian selection rankings for this season's national team.
Competition will start Friday with the first 500m and 1500m events, followed on Saturday by 1000m and 1500m races and, Sunday, by another 500m and 1000m. Races will start at approximately 1:45 pm to conclude at 5 pm on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, competitions will begin at 10:45 am approximately and end around 3:30 pm. Admission is free on Friday and $5 on Saturday and Sunday.
Qualification format for upcoming World Cups
Athletes will vye for a spot on the Team that will represent the country in the first four World Cups of the 2015-2016 season, including the first two to be held in front of local crowds in Montreal (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) and Toronto (Nov. 6-8). World Cups #3 and #4 will be held respectively in Nagoya, Japan, December 4-6, and in Shanghai, China, December 11-13. Canada will send a total of six men and six women to each of these World Cups.
The three highest ranked skaters, based on the total points earned in their best two distances, automatically qualify for the World Cups. The three other positions per gender will be discretionary choices.
The team for the World Cups held in Montreal and Toronto will be announced in the weeks following the Fall World Cups Selections.
The full schedule, and the list of competing athletes as well as results will be available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.