NEWS: Canada’s long track speed skating teams named for first three World Cups

OTTAWA – Speed Skating Canada (SSC) announced today the long track teams for the first three International Skating Union (ISU) World Cups of the season. The 2011-12 schedule starts in Chelyabinsk, Russia, from Friday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 20, and continues the following two weekends in Astana, Kazakhstan, Nov. 25-27, and Heerenveen, Netherlands, Dec. 2-4. Featuring Olympic medallists and world champions Cindy Klassen, Christine Nesbitt, Lukas Makowsky and Denny Morrison, the long track high performance committee selected 10 women and 12 men to compete in the following distances over the first three World Cups: 500-metre, 1,000-metre, 1,500-metre, 3,000-metre and 5,000-metre races for women, and 500-metre, 1,000-metre, 1,500-metre, 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre for men. The fall trials, held in Calgary from Oct. 27-29, were used to identify the teams for the first three World Cups. In addition to the trials, SSC’s long track high track performance committee pre-selected several skaters and did allow for byes during the trials for injuries. The pre-selections were based on last year’s World Single Distance Championships. Skaters had to have finished in the top five in an individual event or top three in the team pursuit. Eighteen (18) skaters will compete in all three events. Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., will take part in the World Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan, while Scott Bickerton of Nelson, B.C., and Tori Spence of Kamloops, B.C., will be in the Netherlands, and Edmonton’s Sarah Gregg will join the team in Kazakhstan. The teams bring together 10 national team members, nine from the development team and two from the talent squad. For the 2011-12 World Cup long track season, Canada’s entry quotas for each distance are as follows: three women and five men for 500 metres; five each for 1,000 metres; five women and four men for 1,500 metres; five women for 3,000 and 5,000 metres; and, three for men’s 5,000 and 10,000 metres. The teams and race distances for the first three World Cups are as follows: World Cup 1, Chelyabinsk, Russia - Nov. 18-20 Women (2x500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m, team pursuit): Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa (3000m), Anastasia Bucsis of Calgary (500m, 1000m), Nicole Garrido of Edmonton (1500m, 3000m), Cindy Klassen of Winnipeg (1000m, 1500m, 3000m), Christine Nesbitt of London, Ont. (500m, 1000m, 1500m), Tamara Oudenaarden of St. Albert, Alta. (1000m), Shannon Rempel (500m, 1000m, 1500m) and Brittany Schussler (1500m, 3000m), both from Winnipeg.
Men (2x500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, team pursuit): Jordan Belchos of Toronto (5000m), Tyler Derraugh of Winnipeg (500m, 1500m), William Dutton of Humbolt, Sask. (500m), Jamie Gregg of Edmonton (500m, 1000m), Gilmore Junio of Calgary (500m, 1000m), Richard MacLennan of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (500m), Lucas Makowsky of Regina (1000m, 1500m, 5000m), Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C. (1000m, 1500m), Kyle Parrott of Minnedosa, Man (1000m), and Philippe Riopel (1500m) of Lachenaie, Que. World Cup 2, Astana, Kazakhstan - Nov. 25-27 Women (2x500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m, mass start): Blondin (3000m, mass start), Bucsis (500m, 1000m), Garrido (1500m, 3000m, mass start), Sarah Gregg (mass start) of Edmonton, Klassen (1000m, 1500m, 3000m), Nesbitt (500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m), Oudenaarden (1000m), Rempel (500m, 1000m, 1500m) and Schussler (1500m, 3000m).
Men (2x500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, mass start): Belchos (5000m, mass start), Derraugh (500m, 1500m), Dutton (500m), Mathieu Giroux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que. (1500m, 5000m), Gregg (500m, 1000m), Junio (500m, 1000m), MacLennan (500m), Makowsky (1000m, 1500m, 5000m), Morrison (1000m, 1500m, mass start), Parrott (1000m) and Riopel (mass start). World Cup 3, Heerenveen, Netherlands - Dec. 2-4 Women (2x500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, team pursuit and team sprint): Blondin (5000m), Bucsis (500m, 1000m), Garrido (1500m, 5000m), Klassen (1000m, 1500m, 5000m), Christine Nesbitt (500m, 1000m, 1500m), Oudenaarden (1000m), Rempel (500m, 1000m, 1500m), Schussler (1500m, 5000m) and Tori Spence (5000m) of Kamloops, B.C.
Men (2x500m, 1000m, 1500m, 10000m, team pursuit and team sprint): Belchos (10000m), Scott Bickerton (10000m) of Nelson, B.C., Derraugh (500m, 1500m), Dutton (500m), Gregg (500m, 1000m), Junio (500m, 1000m), MacLennan (500m), Makowsky (1500m), Morrison (1000m, 1500m), Parrott (1000m) and Riopel (1000m, 1500m). After two short track events this season, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $14,000 (8 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. - end -