Canada’s long track speed skating team is in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland this weekend for the third stop on this season’s World Cup circuit. Sixteen Canadian skaters will be in action from December 7-9 and will look to build on the six medals and thirteen top 10 results earned during the first two World Cup stages in Japan.
A pair of Ottawa natives captured medals on the outdoor oval in Tomakomai last weekend, with Isabelle Weidemann winning gold in the ladies 3000m, the first individual medal of her career, and Ivanie Blondin bronze in the ladies’ mass start.
Canada has also had some early season success in the team events, brining home silver in the ladies’ team pursuit thanks to Blondin, Weidemann and Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont. and three bronze medals in the team sprint races, two for the men’s squad of Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que., Christopher Fiola of Montreal, Que. and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que. and one by the ladies’ team of Blondin, Heather McLean of Winnipeg, Man. and Kaylin Irvine of Calgary, Alta.
Joining the team for the next two World Cups of the season – this weekend in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland and next weekend in Heerenveen, Netherlands – are Marsha Hudey (White City, Sask.), Valérie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.), Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, Que.), Gilmore Junior (Calgary, Alta.) and Graeme Fish (Moose Jaw, Sask.).
Maltais, a three-time Olympian in short track, will make her first long track World Cup appearance less than a year after transitioning from short track. She will be joined by fellow Olympians Hudey, Junio and Boisvert-Lacroix. The youngster Fish, a double bronze medalist from the 2016-2017 World Junior Championships, will compete on the World Cup circuit for the second time in his career.
Canadians have enjoyed success at the newly built Arena Lodowa, which hosted its first international event two weeks ago with the 2018 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating. The six neo-senior skaters that participated in that event brought won a combined 17 medals, a level of success that their counterparts on the senior team will look to replicate this weekend.
The competition gets underway Friday with the 500m(1), 1000m and team pursuit finals. The 500m(2) and 1500m finals will take place on Saturday, while those for the ladies 5000m, men’s 10,000m and team sprint are set for Sunday.
- BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) – 1000m, 1500m, 5000m
- HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK) – 500m(1), 500m(2)
- IRVINE, Kaylin (Calgary, AB) – 500m(1), 500m(2), 1000m
- MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, QC) – 1500m, 5000m
- MCLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB) – 500m(1), 500m(2), 1000m
- MORRISON, Keri (Burlington, ON) – 1500m, 5000m
- WEIDEMANN, Isabelle (Ottawa, ON) – 1500m, 5000m
- BELCHOS, Jordan (Toronto, ON) – 1500m, 10,000m
- BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC) – 500m(1), 500m(2)
- BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 1500m, 10,000m
- DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) – 500m(1), 500m(2), 1000m
- FIOLA, Christopher (Montreal, QC) – 500m(1), 500m(2), 1000m
- FISH, Graeme (Moose Jaw, SK) – 10,000m
- GÉLINAS-BEAULIEU, Antoine (Sherbrooke, QC) – 1000m, 1500m
- JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB) – 500m(1), 500m(2)
- LA RUE, David (Saint-Lambert, QC) – 500m(1), 500m(2), 1000m, 1500m