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Olympic Spots On The Line

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International Long Track Canadian Speed Skaters ascend in Heerenveen Netherlands November 10-12 for the first ISU World Cup stage of the 2017-2018 season.

All in hopes of achieving a qualification for quota spots for the various country in different events held at the 2018 Olympic Games.

Canada is represented by 22 skaters, including various individual medalists that include Ottawa’s Ivanie Blondin, Cumberland Ontario’s Vincent De Haître and Olivier Jean who call’s  Lachenaie home from last year’s World Single Distance Championships

Podium finishes for Blondin and De Haître held last spring in Gangneung, South Korea, could pre-qualify for the Olympics by winning another medal in the 5000m for Blondin or in the 1000m for De Haître at one of the four World Cups to be held this fall, as long as Canada qualifies at least one spot in those distances.

The World Cup begins November 10th with the first 500m and team pursuit events followed on Saturday by the second 500m, the 1500m that will see the mass start on November 12th (Sunday) and the 1000m, the women’s 3000m, the men’s 5000m and team sprint events will be held.

Mass Start

In mass start, Canada will be represented by Olivier Jean (Lachenaie) for the mass start who captured Bronze in the mass start at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships.

Also competing are Montreal’s Christopher Fiola, as well as Burlington Ontario’s Ivanie Blondin and Keri Morrison.

All four Canadian skaters are focused to finish in the top 16 in the Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC), a ranking posted by the International Skating Union (ISU) following the four Fall World Cups.

This will will determine spots per country in each individual distance event for the Olympic Games following the three mass start events held throughout the four Fall World Cups.

The first spots would go to Blondin and Jean and the second ones, to Fiola and Morrison if all four skaters finish among the top 16 in the SOQC.

Other Canadian skaters can pre-qualify for the Olympic Games depending on their performances at the Fall World Cups and should an athlete win a medal in an individual event at a World Cup and who finishes among the top five (based on the SOQC based on points) following the first four World Cups will thereby pre-qualify for PyeongChang.  

Qualify Olympic spots for Canada

First remember that the 22 skaters competing are aiming to qualify the maximum number of spots per event at the Olympic Games, i.e. three in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m, two in the women’s 5000m, men’s 10,000m and mass start, as well as one per gender in team pursuit.

Following the Fall World Cups, the ISU will publish the SOQC that will determine allocated spots per country in each individual distance for the Olympic Games.

Most of the spot allocations will be based on overall World Cup ranking and the rest, on times.

A maximum of 10 athletes per gender can be selected to the Olympic Team. Athletes will be selected based on achieving the performance standard for the event and on earning the quota spot.

The Canadian team will fill the remainder of its roster at the 2018 Long Track Team Selections held at Calgary’s Olympic Oval January 4-9.

For more info visit Speed Skating Canada at www.speedskating.ca.

Canadian Team for the ISU World Cup in Heerenveen, in the Netherlands:

  • BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 5000m
  • BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) – 1500m, 3000m, Mass Start
  • BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC) – 500m
  • DE HAÎTRE, Vincent (Cumberland, ON) – 1000m, 1500m
  • DONNELLY, Ben (Oshawa, ON) – 5000m
  • DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) – 500m
  • DUTTON, William (Humboldt, SK) – 500m
  • FIOLA, Christopher (Montréal, QC) – Mass Start
  • GÉLINAS-BEAULIEU, Antoine (Sherbrooke, QC) – 1500m, 5000m
  • HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK) – 500m, 1000m
  • IRVINE, Kaylin (Calgary, AB) – 500m, 1000m
  • JEAN, Olivier (Lachenaie, QC) – Mass Start
  • JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB) – 500m
  • LA RUE, David (Saint-Lambert, QC) – 1000m, 1500m
  • McLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB) – 500m, 1000m
  • MORRISON, Denny (Fort St. John, B.C.) – 1000m, 1500m
  • MORRISON, Josie (Kamloops, B.C.) – 3000m
  • MORRISON, Keri (Burlington, ON) – 1500m, Mass Start
  • ST-JEAN, Alexandre (Quebec City, QC) – 500m, 1000m
  • TUTT, Brianne (Airdrie, AB) – 1000m, 1500m, 3000m
  • WEIDEMANN, Isabelle (Ottawa, ON) – 1500m, 3000m