Canada Names its Team for Saguenay & Montreal Short Track Speed Skating World Cups

Following the National Team Selections held last weekend in Calgary, Speed Skating Canada released today the names of the athletes who will represent Canada at the two up-coming International Skating Union short track speed skating World Cups.

Based on their results from last weekend, Kalyna Roberge, Amanda Overland, Ivanie Blondin, Charles Hamelin, François-Louis Tremblay and Olivier Jean qualified for both the Saguenay and Montreal World Cups, that will be held on December 1-3 and December 8-10 respectively.

Speed Skating Canada’s High Performance Committee then added Jessica Gregg, Annik Plamondon, Anne Maltais (Saguenay World Cup only), and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher (Montreal World Cup only) to its women’s squad. Marc-André Monette, Michael Gilday and Jeffrey Scholten will join their teammates on the men’s side.

“Looking forward to 2010, we wanted to send a good mix of veterans and younger skaters, in order to give them good international experience”, explained Jean R. Dupré, Director General, Speed Skating Canada. “With the talent we currently have in both our national and development teams, we are able to respect that wish while sending a very competitive team to the events.”

Eight of the athletes are members of the National Team. Jessica Gregg and Ivanie Blondin are still junior age skaters, who are expected to be among the youngest athletes present at the competitions. Blondin, a 16 year old, created a surprise last weekend by finishing third overall in the National Team Selections, qualifying for these two world cups as well as the World Junior Championships that will be held next February.

Skating in front of a home crowd is always very stimulating for athletes. With this year’s new format for short track speed skating world cups, the general public is invited to come and cheer for the Canadian team on Saturday and Sunday, December 2 and 3 at 2pm at the Centre Georges-Vézina in Saguenay, and on Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10 at 2pm at the Aréna Maurice-Richard in Montreal. For more information on the Canadian Team or the World Cups, visit www.speedskating.ca/coupesdumondeisu/