Speed Skating Canada Names Long Track Fall World Cup Teams

Following some time trial races at the Richmond Oval two weeks ago, Speed Skating Canada’s (SSC) High Performance – Long Track Committee officially released the names of the athletes that will take part in the Fall World Cup events coming up.

There are 5 World Cup events scheduled between November 7 and December 14, and SSC was able to officially name three of the teams. The athletes participating in the two sprint World Cups in early December will be named in the weeks coming up and the information will be available in the Press Room of the SSC website.

Many athletes were pre-qualified to skate in the World Cups, based on their results in national and international competitions over the last season. Others qualified by posting the fastest times in a series of time trial races in Richmond that also served as testing grounds for the various speed skating systems that will be in place for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The first long track speed skating World Cup of the season will be held in Berlin from November 7-9, and it is an all distance event. All of Canada’s top speed skaters, aside from Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) who is currently in rehabilitation following a knee surgery over the summer, will be making the trip, including World Champions Jeremy Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB), Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) and Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC).

A similar team will be heading straight from Berlin to the second World Cup stop, in Heerenveen the following week, except for a few of the sprinters like Wotherspoon who will head back to Richmond for a few more weeks of training.

A few skaters, such as Québec based Alexandre Garant (5000m) and Calgary based Andrew Godbout (10,000m) and Jordan Belchos (5000m and 10,000m) will get their first World Cup experience in Heerenveen and/or in Moscow, the third stop of the World Cup Circuit where only long distances will be raced on November 22-23.

Here is the full list of athletes and the World Cup they will be skating in. For the specific distances, please visit the Press Room of www.speedskating.ca. The teams for each World Cup appear under Long Track Event Teams.

Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Tamara Oudenaarden (St. Albert, AB) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Kerry Dankers (Melville, SK) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Kristina Groves (Ottawa, ON) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Clara Hughes (Winnipeg, MB) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Jeremy Wotherspoon (Red Deer, AB) – Berlin
Mike Ireland (Winnipeg, MB) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Vincent Labrie (Lévis, QC) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) – Berlin
Muncef Ouardi (Montréal, QC) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) – Berlin, Heerenveen
François-Olivier Roberge (St-Nicolas, QC) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Philippe Riopel (Lachenaie, QC) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Steven Elm (Red Deer, AB) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Lucas Makowsky (Regina, SK) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Jeff Kitura (Langley, BC) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK) – Berlin, Heerenveen
Jordan Belchos (Toronto, ON) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Jay Morrison (Fort St. John, BC) – Berlin, Heerenveen, Moscow
Alexandre Garant (Québec) – Heerenveen
Andrew Godbout – Moscow

Last season, the Canadian team achieved outstanding results on the international stage with a total of 56 World Cup medals and 11 World Championship medals including three World Champion titles.