Ivanie Blondin to defend her mass start title at the World Cup Final

Calgary, March 7, 2016 – 2014-2015 Mass Start World Cup Champion and at the last World Single Distance Championships, Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa will defend her title at the World Cup Final, March 11-13, in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Blondin will be part of a Canadian team comprised of eleven skaters, including medalists at the World Single Distance Championships held last month in Kolomna, Russia, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix and Ted-Jan Bloemen, who are all ranked among the top-12 in the world in their respective events this season and who will aim to move up in the World Cups final rankings.

At the World Cup Final, the point system is expanded for the top five finishers. Winner of each race get 150 points, followed by 120 for second, 104 for third, 90 for fourth and 76 for fifth, except for the 500m event where both two races worth half the points. Regular World Cup wins are worth 100 points.

Second in the mass start overall ranking after four World Cups, Ivanie Blondin will do everything in Heerenveen to keep her title. Blondin, who has 300 points following her two silver and two bronze medals, is only trailing by 16 points behind leader Irene Schouten from the Netherlands who has two gold medals and one silver.

“It will be between Irene and myself, but I want to prove again that I’m the best in the mass start event”, said Ivanie Blondin who will also take part in the 3000m where she is currently sitting in eighth place.

In the 500m, other than Pavel Kulizhnikov from Russia, who won seven of the eight events he took part in and is already assured to win the World Cup title, everything is still possible for four of the five Canadians who will be in action and who are looking for the two remaining spots on the podium.

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, QC, is currently second with 463 points, Gilmore Junio of Calgary, third with 457 points, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, QC, sixth with 411 points, and William Dutton, seventh with 408 points. Alexandre St-Jean of QuebecCity is in 12th position with 274 points.
“Except for the fact that the points in the ranking are very close, I would like to do good races and to keep my spot among the top three in the six World Cups overall ranking”, said the 500m bronze medalist at the World Single Distance Championships, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix.

In the men’s 5000m, Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, who won two bronze medals in this distance this season, is currently fifth before the World Cup Final. Bloemen missed two races following a leg injury.

“Following a fifth place in the 5000m at the World Single Distance Championships, I’m looking to get back on the podium at the World Cup Final. After missing two races, it looks like it's still possible to climb to third sport in the ranking. But besides a good race, that would also require some luck. We'll just have to wait and see!”

Heather McLean of Winnipeg (currently 7th in the 500m), Jordan Belchos of Toronto (8th in the mass start), Vincent de Haître of Cumberland, ON, (8th in the 1000m eand 11th in the 1500m), Alexandre St-Jean (11th in the 1000m) and Rob Watson of Whitby, ON, (11th in the mass start) will complete the Canadian team.

Members of the Canadian Team at the ISU World Cup Final in Heerenveen, Netherlands

WOMEN   
-BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) – 3000m, mass start
-McLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB) – 500m

MEN
-BELCHOS, Jordan (Toronto, ON) – mass start
-BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 5000m
-BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC) – 500m
-DE HAÎTRE, Vincent (Cumberland, ON) – 1000m, 1500m
-DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC) – 500m
-DUTTON, William (Humboldt, SK) – 500m
-JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB) – 500m
-ST-JEAN, Alexandre (Quebec City, QC) – 500, 1000m
-WATSON, Rob (Whitby, ON) – mass start

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at 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, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, City of Montreal, Calgary Olympic Oval 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
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Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC 
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