Gilmore Junio skates to fastest time in the world in the 500m so far this season at Long Track Fall World Cup Selections

Calgary, October 21, 2016 – Gilmore Junio of Calgary, AB, came up with the best time in the world so far this season in the 500m while Marsha Hudey of White City, SK, skated to a personal best in the same distance, Friday, on the second day of the Long Track Fall World Cup Selections held until Sunday at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

In the first of two 500m events slated for the weekend, Gilmore Junio earned the win in 34.51 seconds, the fastest time so far this season at the international level.

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, already prequalified in this distance for the first World Cup of the season thanks to the bronze medal he won in the 500m at the 2016 World Single Distance Championships, was second in 34.68. Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, finished third in 34.75.

“It was exciting to see such a fast race today. I didn't expect to come up with a time of 34,51 seconds this early in the season,” said Gilmore Junio. “But I was really happy with the way I executed and it gives me a lot of confidence moving forward and going towards the World Cup season.”

“Knowing how deep our team is, that’s one of the reasons why I went so fast today. Anyone of our skaters can go that fast on a daily basis, so you have to really step up your game and bring it every day.”

Boisvert-Lacroix, Junio, Dubreuil and Alexandre St-Jean (34.95) of Quebec City, QC, all came within the time standard of 35.12 seconds needed to be eligible to qualify in this distance for the first World Cup stage of the 2016-2017 season. Will Dutton of Humboldt, SK, skated to a time of 34.61 but was disqualified after forgetting to wear his armband. His time remains eligible, however, for the selection process.

For his part, Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., came up with the 14th time. The four-time Olympic medalist skated in his first sanctioned competition in 18 months, after having a motorcycle accident in 2015 and suffering a stroke last April.

“The 500m is not my best event, but it’s hard not to compare this race to my personal best or to my average race,” pointed out Morrison. “This 500m was well below what I can do, but I need to keep things in perspective and I need to look at where I was six months ago. Things are generally trending in the right direction in training and there’s a plan in place that involves me making the Olympics a year and a half from now. I need to stay positive and keep making sure things continue to trend in the right direction. I also have the 1000m and the 1500m coming up this weekend, and I predict better results in those.”

A new personal best for Marsha Hudey
On the women's side, Marsha Hudey won on Friday the first of the weekend's two 500m races.

The 26-year-old skater lowered her personal best by 25 hundredths of a second, thanks to a time of 37.54.

“I’m really happy to get a personal best this early on in the season,” said Marsha Hudey. “Things have been going really well in training and I knew that if I could do the same thing in a race, it would likely turn into a good result. I am looking forward to the World Cups!”

Hudey was the only skater to achieve the time standard of 38.66. Noémie Fiset (38.67) of Quebec City, QC, who was second in the race, missed it by only one hundredth of a second. Kaylin Irvine (38.72) of Calgary, AB, skated to a third-place finish.

Heather McLean of Winnipeg, MB, who won three bronze medals in World Cup events last year, had to forfeit due to a viral sinusitis. She will be able, however, to ask for a bye request to earn a spot on the Canadian World Cup team.

Bloemen disqualified in the 10 000m
In the men's 10,000m, Jordan Belchos (13:20.93) of Markham, ON, won it ahead of Stefan Waples (13:30.08) of Winnipeg and Graeme Fish (13:53.98) of Moose Jaw, SK.

The world record holder in the distance, Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, AB skated to the fastest time on Friday, 12:51.15, before being disqualified. The 30-year-old veteran made his opponent fall as he was about to lap his pair.

Bloemen is however already prequalified in the 10,000m at the first World Cup following his silver medal at the 2016 World Single Distance Championships.

“I was really pumped when I crossed the line and saw my time,” said Bloemen. “It was not my best race because I was in and out of focus. The track record was in the back of my mind, and I thought that if I could stay on pace, I would be able to break it.”

“But a little past halfway into the race, I had to overtake my opponent because I was gaining a lap on him. I chose to go around the outside and it was a little tight. Unfortunately, we both pushed against each other and he fell because of that. I truly feel bad for him because it was his first 10,000m and he fell because of something that was not really his fault. I apologized to him right away.”

“On the other hand, I did try my best to avoid him, we both did,” added Bloemen.

“So I think neither of us are to blame and it was just a race incident where we both did their best to avoid it, but it was not possible.”

In the women's 5000m, Ivanie Blondin (7:04.12) of Ottawa finished first, followed by Isabelle Weidemann (7:05.62), also from Ottawa, and by Josie Spence (7:13.07) of Kamloops, B.C.

For her part, Béatrice Lamarche of Quebec City set a second new personal best in as many days, as she lowered her best time in the 500m from 40.11 to 39.73. On Thursday, she shaved off more than four seconds from her previous best in the 3000m.

On the men's side, Chris Fiola of Montreal, Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, QC, also set a new personal best in the 500m, lowering his time from 35.24 to 35.17.

The Long Track Fall World Cup Selections will continue on Saturday starting at 1 pm, local time, as the second 500m races and the 1000m events will be held, both in the men's and women's categories. The competition will end on Sunday.

More details and the complete schedule are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY’S RESULTS
500m (1) W
1. Marsha Hudey (37.54)
2. Noémie Fiset (38.67)
3. Kaylin Irvine (38.72)

500m (1) M
1. Gilmore Junio (34.51)
2. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (34.68)
3. Laurent Dubreuil (34.75)

5000m W
1. Ivanie Blondin (7:04.12)
2. Isabelle Weidemann (7:05.62)
3. Josie Spence (7:13.07)

10 000m M
1. Jordan Belchos (13.20.93)
2. Stefan Waples (13:30.08)
3. Graeme Fish (13 :53.98)

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:
Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
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Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
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