New Canadian Junior Record in the 3000m for Ben Donnelly from Oshawa

Long Track Speed Skating Development/NextGen National Team member Ben Donnelly from Oshawa, Ontario, started the new season well by breaking the Canadian Junior Record in the 3000m during the 2015 Fall Classic held at Calgary’s Olympic Oval last weekend.

This competition was a prelude to the Long Track Fall World Cup Selections which will be held October 22-25 also at the Olympic Oval.

Donnelly, 19 years old and Canadian Junior champion last year, clocked a time of 3:45.45 to break the old record of 3:45.98 held by Olympic silver medalist Justin Warsylewicz since March 2004.

“Following how well training went earlier this week, I was expecting a personal best”, confessed Donnelly, who represented Canada at the World Junior Championships last year. “I felt good during the race and I knew going in that I could do a good race. But the result is better than expected this early in the season.”

Many new personal bests
Like Donnelly, many Speed Skating Canada’s National Team members showed off their shape during this competition.

Overall, eight skaters clocked new personal bests, including the 2014-2015 World Cup Champion in the mass start event, Ivanie Blondin from Ottawa, Ontario. She skated a personal best in the 1000m by besting her record by two hundredths with a time of 1:16.22.

The Senior Group member Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, Ontario, also matched his personal best in the 1000m. The bronze medalist in this distance at the World Cup Final last year, clocked again a time of 1:07.63.

Other members of the national teams also shined last weekend with new personal best.

Jacob Graham, 19 years old from Dawson Creek, B.C., broke three personal bests: in the 500m (36.08), 1000m (1:11.61) and 1500m (1:55.06).

Here are the other National Team members who skated new personal bests last weekend:

-CARRUTHERS, Dan (Cambridge, ON): 4:00.31 in the 3000m
-CLOUTHIER, Braden (Dawson Creek, B.C.): 3:57.33 in the 3000m
-DECKERT, Sam (Winnipeg, MB): 3:53.27 in the 3000m
-WATSON, Rob (Whitby, ON): 3:49.76 in the 3000m

First race, first win in mass start for Olivier Jean
The Short Track Speed Skating Olympic medalist Olivier Jean from Lachenaie, QC, won his first-ever mass start race, a new event for the next Olympic Games.

Jean, who arrived in Calgary Wednesday, finished first in front of Nick Goplen from British Columbia as well as the four-time Olympic medalist Bob de Jong from the Netherlands.

Jean is taking part in an intensive training program to prepare for the Long Track Fall World Cup Selections, set for October 22-25 at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

“My win confirmed that my experiences in Short Track Speed Skating and in-line roller for the strategy, trick and observation will really give me an edge against my opponents”, said Olivier Jean. “During Sunday’s race, I was far from being the strongest or fastest one following only four days of training on long track. But I was able to win against skaters I was challenged to follow during training this week.”

The full schedule, and the list of competing athletes as well as results are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website 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 and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, 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
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
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