Best Canadian short track speed skaters will fight for 2017 World Championships spots at the Canadian Senior Championships

Montreal, January 11, 2017 – The best 64 short track speed skaters in Canada will battle at the Canadian Senior Championships, January 13-15 at Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal, for a spot on the National Team at the international senior competitions to be held this winter, including the 2017 ISU World Short Track Championships.

Among the 32 men and 32 women in action, Olympic medalists who represented Canada at recent Fall World Cups Marianne St-Gelais, Charles Hamelin, Marie-Ève Drolet, Valérie Maltais, Charle Cournoyer and François Hamelin will be on hand, as well as those who skated with them: Kim Boutin, Kasandra Bradette, Pascal Dion, Patrick Duffy, Samuel Girard, Jamie MacDonald and William Preudhomme.

Athletes qualified by taking part in the Fall World Cup Selections, held last September in Montreal, or following their performances at the Canadian Open National Qualifier held in Saguenay, QC, in November.

The 1500m races will be held this Friday, followed by the 500m events on Saturday and the 1000m on Sunday. Based on the points gained in those three events, the 16 best skaters per gender will have the opportunity to improve their overall ranking by taking part in one last event: the 3000m.

Admission is $5 per day or $10 for the three-day competition, and is free for kids six years of age or less. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Qualifying for the World Championships
Following this weekend's competition, skaters will be ranked based on the combined results of the Canadian Senior Championships – which will count for 80% of total points --, and the Fall World Cup Selections or the Canadian Open National Qualifier – to count for 20%.

Five men and five women will represent the country at the World Senior Championships, which will be held March 10-12 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The first three skaters per gender based on the combined ranking will automatically qualify. The fourth position will be allocated based on bye requests or, if none, will go to the skater ranked fourth in the combined ranking. The fifth position will be a discretionary choice.

In the individual events of the 2017 World Senior Championships, Canada will have a total of three representatives per gender. The first two male and female skaters, based on the combined ranking, will each get a spot. The third and last spots that are left will be discretionary choices.

For the World Cup #5 to be held in Dresden, Germany, February 3-5, six athletes per gender will be chosen. Athletes selected for the World Championships will automatically be chosen for the team while the next spot (s), depending if all athletes for World Championships have been named before departure for the World Cup, will be discretionary choice (s). Canada will not take part in the sixth and last World Cup of the season scheduled in Minsk, Belarus.

Young skaters to meet their idols
Saturday and Sunday, between the quarterfinals and semifinals held in the afternoon, about fifty young skaters aged between 6 and 12 competing in the Minime to Juvénile categories and representing around 15 clubs will take part in a friendly competition. Some of them will even have a chance to give medals to their idols, winners of different events at the Canadian Senior Championships.

Young skaters will represent the following clubs: Châteauguay, LaSalle, Laval Centre, Centre régional courte piste, Fabreville, Sainte-Dorothée et Saint-François, Longueuil, Montréal Ahuntsic, Montréal-Gadbois, Montréal St-Michel, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Saint-Jérôme, Sainte-Julie and des Trois-Lacs.

Webcast
The 2017 Canadian Senior Championship competitions will be webcast on the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec and Speed Skating Canada Facebook pages. Direct links are available on www.speedskating.ca, as the schedule for the events.
   
More information, including the full schedule, is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
 
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. 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.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC