Junio, Boisvert-Lacroix, Hudey come close to podium finishes in the 500m at ISU World Cup Long Track stage in Norway

Denny Morrison et Kali Christ promoted in the group A of the 1500m at Calgary World Cup

Stavanger, Norway, November 18, 2017 – Gilmore Junio, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix and Marsha Hudey all came within a fraction of a second away from stepping onto the podium in the 500m while Denny Morrison and Kali Christ were promoted to group A in the 1500m, Saturday, on the second day of the second stage of the ISU World Cup Long Track Speed Skating season that will be held until Sunday in Stavanger, Norway.

In the second men's 500m of this weekend's World Cup stage, Gilmore Junio (Calgary, AB) and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Sherbrooke, QC) respectively finished fourth and fifth, coming close to stepping onto a World Cup podium in the 500m for the first time since the 2015-2016 season.

Gilmore (34.774) and Boisvert-Lacroix (34.779) came within less than two hundredths of a second of the time of 34.76 that allowed Dutch skater Hein Otterspeer to earn the bronze medal. The race was won by Ronald Mulder of the Netherlands in 34.62.

"Being so close to the podium is bittersweet," said Junio, who placed sixth in Friday's 500m. "In this competitive field, it's nice to be a couple of hundredths of a second away from a podium, but you also have to realize that you're a couple of hundredths of a second away from 10th, maybe 11th place. The execution today was mostly good, obviously there are a few mistakes that I need to clean up, but overall it was a good weekend and l look forward to the next stage in Calgary."

"It feels really good to be back among the top skaters. It had been a while since I skated like I wanted, and the problem wasn't so much physical, but rather technical," said Boisvert-Lacroix. "I watched Friday's race on video and worked on a few small details, and today during the warmups, I was able to make the proper corrections. And then, I just did more of the same during the race. I felt good out there, I couldn't be happier with today's race."

Laurent Dubreuil (Lévis, QC) who finished seventh, and William Dutton (Humboldt, SK), who was 14th, also skated Saturday's race under the 35-second mark, with respective times of 34.798 and 34.92.

In the women's second 500m of the weekend, Marsha Hudey (White City, SK), who won silver in the same distance on Friday, came in fifth on Saturday. Her time of 38.10 was 0.15 seconds shy of the bronze-medal winning performance, which belongs to South Korea's Sang-Hwa Lee (37.95). The race was won by Japan's Nao Kodaira in 37.07.

"Today was another good skate for me. I've had two good races this weekend that I can build off of moving forward, and that's exciting!" said Hudey.

Heather McLean (Winnipeg, MB) was 10th in 38.29 and Kaylin Irvine (Calgary, AB), 19th in 39.23.

1500m: Morrison and Christ promoted to group A
Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) won the men's 1500m B group race by more than one second, as he skated to a time of 1:46.01. That earned him a promotion into group A for the next World Cup stage, to be held Dec. 1-3 in Calgary, Alberta.

"This is one more of the hurdles out the million of hurdles I've had to jump over over the last two or three years, since the stroke and the motorcyle accident," said Morrison. "I think it says something about the culture of excellence we have on the Canadian team, and I hope that today's achievement is not only celebrated by me, but also by the coaches and my teammates, who've helped bring me back to this level.

"What makes it all the more meaningful is that I qualified for group A on the last possible day before the Calgary World Cup. There's nothing more special than performing in front of your family and friends", he added.

Kali Christ (Regina, SK) was second in the women's 1500m B group, with a time of 1:58.58, and was also promoted to group A.

"It's a good starting point to continue the rest of the World Cups", said Christ. "It will be really fun to be in the A group in Calgary in front of a hometown crowd."

In the men's 1500m A group, Vincent De Haître (Cumberland, ON), who had been sick this week, had to settle for 19th place with a time of 1:47.63. Norway's Sverre Lunde Pederson won the race in 1:45.07.

In the women's 1500m, Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, ON) finished in seventh place in 1:58.08. Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON) came in 12th in 1:58.93 while Brianne Tutt (Airdrie, AB) was 14th in 1:58.964.

The women's 5000m, the men's 10,000m as well as the men's and women's team sprint events are scheduled for Sunday.

The races will be webstreamed live on the CBC Sports (http://www.cbc.ca/sports) and Radio-Canada Sports (http://ici.radio-canada.ca/) websites.
 
More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m (2) – M
4. Gilmore Junio (34.774)
5. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (34.779)
7. Laurent Dubreuil (34.798)
14. William Dutton (34.92)

500m (2) – W
5. Marsha Hudey (38.100)
10. Heather McLean (38.29)
19. Kaylin Irvine (39.23)

1500m – W
7. Ivanie Blondin (1:58.08)
12. Isabelle Weidemann (1:58.93)
14. Brianne Tutt (1:58.964)

1500m – M
19. Vincent De Haître (1:47.63)

1500m B – M
1. Denny Morrison (1:46.01)
13. David La Rue (1:48.31)

1500m B – W
2. Kali Christ (1:58.58)

500m (2) B – M
10. Alexandre St-Jean (35.37)

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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For information:
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 
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