Victories for Blondin and Bloemen on the first day of the 2018 Long Track Team Selections
Speed Skating Canada – Isabelle Weidemann and Brianne Tutt added to the provisional Olympic Team
Calgary, January 4, 2018 – Ivanie Blondin won the women’s 3000m event and Ted-Jan Bloemen, the men’s 5000m, Thursday, on the first day of the 2018 Long Track Team Selections held until Tuesday, January 9, at Calgary’s Olympic Oval.
In the 3000m, Blondin won the event with a time of 4:04.31. The skater from Ottawa was already prequalified for this event for the PyeongChang Olympic Games following the bronze medal she won at the World Cup held in the Netherlands earlier this fall, which allowed her to finish among the top five in the ISU Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC).
“I’m happy with what I did today,” said Blondin. “I wasn’t sure I was going to race the 3000m but Bart (Schouten, her coach) wanted me to do it as preparation for the Games. I had a different mentality and I wasn’t stressed out. But when I got on the ice, I really had in mind to compete, something which is always in me. I will always give everything to compete.”
Isabelle Weidemann from Ottawa, ON, took the second spot with a time of 4:05.01, followed by Brianne Tutt (4:07.52) from Airdrie, AB.
Weidemann and Tutt therefore earned the remaining two quota spots for Canada in the women’s 3000m for the 2018 Olympic Games. They not only took the two remaining places based on their respective ranking, but they also achieved the qualifying time standard of 4:03.48 at this fall’s World Cups.
Weidemann and Tutt have therefore been provisionally named to the Canadian Long Track Speed Skating Olympic Team and to represent Canada in PyeongChang in the women’s 3000m, depending on the final team composition based on maximum skaters per country, i.e. 10 men and 10 women for a maximum number of 20 skaters per country.
”I came out and did what I had to do,” said Weidemann who, if confirmed on the team, would take part in her first Olympic Games. “Especially when there is added pressure here competing in front of our families. To qualify is really exciting! I actually haven’t thought anything about the Olympics. I’m excited to go home and think about it and super excited to experience it!”
”I did enough to qualify for a spot. I’m not super thrilled with my race, but I’m happy it was enough,” said Tutt, who took part in the 2014 Olympic Games. “This would be my second Olympic Games and it’s nice to have the pressure off this time, to be able to qualify and to get it done in the first race of the 2018 Long Track Team Selections. Now, I can really focus on having a little less pressure and skating the way I want to skate.”
Bloemen in the men’s 5000m
In the men’s 5000m, Ted-Jan Bloemen collected the only Canadian spot available in this event for the 2018 Olympic Games by winning the race held on Thursday.
A few weeks after he broke the 5000m World Record at the World Cup held in Salt Lake City with a time of 6:01.86, Bloemen stopped the clock Thursday at 6:16.36 to win the event. Denny Morrison (6:21.08) from Fort St. John, B.C., and Jordan Belchos (6:22.90) from Toronto, ON, respectively took second and third positions.
“It was important for me to win this race because I wasn’t prequalified, so I had to win,” said Bloemen. “Halfway through the race, I knew I had to keep going and keep pushing and trying to stabilize my lap times, so I’m pretty happy with how I made it to the finish and won this race, even if it wasn’t my best one. I’m really excited to go to the Olympics and it’s going to be my first time.”
Already prequalified for the PyeongChang Games in the men’s 10,000m, Bloemen will have the opportunity to take part in at least two events in South Korea.
Scheduled for Friday: the 500m
Racing will continue on Friday at the Selections with the men’s and women’s 500m.
In both events, Canada could have a maximum of three skaters as long as athletes achieve the time standard of 34.47 seconds for the men and 37.76 for the women.
On the men’s side, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix is already prequalified in this event for PyeongChang following his two gold medals on the World Cup circuit last fall, which allowed him to finish among the top five in the SOQC. Laurent Dubreuil from Lévis, QC, and Gilmore Junio from Calgary, AB, have already achieved the time standard.
On the women’s side, no skater has prequalified. Marsha Hudey from White City, SK, and Heather McLean from Winnipeg, MB, are the only ones who have at this point achieved the time standard.
Held simultaneously to Canada Cup #2, the 2018 Long Track Team Selections events start each day at 5 pm (Calgary time). Admission is free.
Racing is also be webstreamed live on CBC Sports’ website (http://www.cbc.ca/sports), Radio-Canada Sports’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/radiocanada.sports) and website (http://ici.radio-canada.ca/sports), and Calgary’s Olympic Oval YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/theolympicoval).
The final Canadian Long Track Speed Skating team for the 2018 Olympic Games will be introduced at a media event on Wednesday, January 10, at 12 pm (Calgary Time), to be held at Jack Singer Concert Hall (205 8 Ave SE) in Calgary.
The full 2018 Olympic Selection Policies and Processes are available at www.speedskating.ca/2018-og/long-track.
Additional details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey. www.speedskating.ca
Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:
Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis
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Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897