Blondin, Dubreuil & Morrison looking for mass start, 500m & 1500m season titles at World Cup Final in Germany

Ivanie Blondin, Laurent Dubreuil and Denny Morrison will go after World Cup titles and individual distances overall podiums this weekend at the season-ending ISU World Cup Long Track Speed Skating Final held March 21-22 in Erfurt, Germany.
 
Blondin, a 24-year-old from Ottawa, Ont., leads the mass start overall ranking following five World Cups with 430 points, 10 points ahead of Irene Schouten of the Netherlands. Both skaters have won two of the five races held in the first year mass start has been a medal event on the World Cup circuit.
 
“At this point Irene and myself can’t get knocked off the podium so just being on the podium is an accomplishment in itself,” said Blondin, who was sixth at the World allrounds in Calgary two weeks ago.
 
“I’d obviously like to be standing on top of that podium and that’s what I’m going for.”
 
Blondin is also fifth in the overall standings with 610 points, 80 points back of third, which is occupied by Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic. Blondin is also scheduled to skate in the 3000m in Germany and is sixth heading into that race.

The point system is expanded for the top five finishers at the World Cup final, with the winner of each race getting 150, followed by 120 for second, 105 for third, 90 for fourth and 75 for fifth. Regular World Cup wins are worth 100 points.

Laurent Dubreuil in the 500m events
Twenty-two-year-old Laurent Dubreuil, who is from Lévis, QC, has four World Cup medals this season in the 500m (one silver, three bronze) and won the bronze medal at the World Single Distance Championships. He is currently second in the 500m overall ranking with 561 points. Pavel Kulizhnikov from Russia leads with 780 points heading into the final two races of the season in Erfurt. Tae-Bum Mo from South Korea is third with 495 points.
 
“This has been a truly great season for me," Dubreuil said. "I never thought six months ago I would be competing for a a podium finish on the season ranking, yet here I am. My goal for this weekend is simple. I want to keep the second spot for the season. If I do so, I will be very happy."
 
Denny Morrison in the 1000m and 1500m events
Morrison, 29, of Fort St. John, B.C., is in the running for the 1,500m title as he is ranked fifth going in with 259 points, just two points back of third place shared by Jan Szymanski of Poland and Wouter olde Heuvel of the Netherlands. Leader Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands has 336 points.
 
Morrison has a World Cup bronze in the 1,500m this season, won Feb. 1 in Hamar, Norway.
 
“This season just seems to never end. It can be hard to stay motivated for a World Cup once all the World Championship competitions have been raced, but knowing Speed Skating Canada has the confidence in us to send us back to Europe for these final races gives me a purpose to go for my best performances of the season and hopefully climb the World Cup points ladder”, said Morrison.

“Even though the season is long, as Mike Crowe once told me, "we train all year to get into this racing shape, so now it's time to take advantage of that. Have fun, and make the most of this opportunity."
 
Vincent de Haître in the 1000m event
Vincent de Haître of Cumberland, Ont., is the fourth Canadian competing in Erfurt. His best performance in a World Cup this season was a fourth place in the 1000m in the first competition held in Obihiro, Japan.
 
Morrison and de Haître will both skate the 1000m, where Morrison is ninth with 171 points and de Haitre 10th with 140.
 
Live coverage of the ISU World Cup Final is at http://livemanager.eurovision.edgesuite.net/isu/index.html.

Long track Canadian team for the 2015 ISU World Cup Final:
Men
-DE HAÎTRE, Vincent (Cumberland, Ont.) – 1000m
-DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) – 500m
-MORRISON, Denny (Fort St. John, B.C.) – 1000m, 1500m

Women
-BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, Ont.) – 3000m, mass start

More information, including detailed schedule, can be found on 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 13,000 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 sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

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