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Olympic Oval set to host Fall World Cup Selections and Oval Invitational

Submitted by ryan.ohashi on Wed, 10/21/2015 - 4:12pm


Canada's best long track speed skaters to compete for a spot at the Calgary World Cup by taking part in this weekend's Fall World Cup Selections October 22-25

Calgary, October 20, 2015 – The best long track speed skaters in the country will take part in the ISU Fall World Cup Selections organized by Speed Skating Canada, from October 22 to 25 at Calgary's Olympic Oval, to compete for a spot on the Canadian national team that will skate at the four World Cup events set for this fall, with the first stage coming November 13 to 15 in Calgary.

Skaters will attempt to earn a spot on the team that will represent Canada at the first four ISU Long Track Speed Skating World Cup stages slated for this fall, i.e. in Calgary (November 13-15), Salt Lake City, USA (November 20-22), Inzell, Germany (December 4-6) and Heerenveen, Netherlands (December 11-13).

Among the athletes set to skate at the World Cup Selections are Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin, the 2014-2015 World Cup overall champion in women's mass start, as well as the bronze medalist in the 500m event at the 2015 World Single Distance Championships and 2014-2015 World Cup overall vice champion in this event, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Québec.

Three Olympians from the 2014 Games, Gilmore Junio of Calgary, Vincent de Haître of Cumberland, Ontario, and William Dutton from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, will also be on hand, as well as two Olympic medalists in short track speed skating, Jessica Gregg and Olivier Jean. Jean has crossed over to long track to try and make the World Cup team in the mass start event, which will be a new discipline at the 2018 Olympic Games.

Fans will have the chance to see up and comer Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, Ontario this weekend. Donnelly is the reigning 2015 Canadian Junior Champion and he recently set a new Canadian junior record in the 3000m distance at the end of September.  Donnelly is coached by Oval coach Todd McClements and will be joined by a number of his training partners including fellow Oval coached National Development / NextGEN athletes Dan Carruthers, Braden Clouthier and Sam Deckert.

Isabelle Weidemann, another Oval coached National Development team athlete will look to qualify for her second senior World Cup event after making her debut in Hamar, Norway last season.  Weidemann trains at the Oval under national team coach Xiuli Wang and will be joined by several of her Oval training partners including 2014 Olympian Lauren McGuire, Madison Pearman and Tori Spence.  

The races at the Fall World Cup Selections, to be held simultaneously with the Oval Invitational competition, will kick off on Thursday, October 22 at 1 p.m. with the women's 3000m and men's 5000m events. Friday, the first 500m races will take place as of 1:25 pm, followed by the women's 5000m and the men's 10 000m. Saturday, the second 500m race and the first 1000m contest will start at 1 pm. And finally, Sunday, the 1500m races and the mass start events will be held starting at 11 am. Admission is free.

As per the Canadian team's selection criteria, athletes who ranked among the top-5 at the 2015 ISU World Single Distance Championships are preselected for the 2015 Fall World Cups. Ivanie Blondin and Laurent Dubreuil have therefore prequalified in the women's mass start and the men's 500m, respectively, after the former collected a silver medal and the latter, a bronze at the competition held last season in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

The other skaters on the Fall World Cup team will be selected according to the final order per distance and by gender at the Fall World Cup Selections. Quotas will be at the discretion of Speed Skating Canada's High Performance Committee.

More details and the complete schedule are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.

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