120 Short Track Speed Skaters at the Montreal’s Maurice-Richard arena December 4-7 for the Canadian Open National Qualifier

A total of 120 short track speed skaters will take part in the Canadian Open National Qualifier, Dec. 4-7 at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, and are aiming to grab one of the eight spots remaining per gender in the Canadian Open Championships.
The Canadian Open Championships, to be held Jan., 16-18 at the Maurice Richard Arena, will decide who will skate for Canada at the two winter ISU World Cups and the World Short Track Championships or Winter Universiade.
The Canadian Open National Qualifier will involve skaters who did not take part in the Fall World Cups Selections in Calgary in September. That competition was exclusively for the top 16 skaters per gender based on last year's ranking, including two discretionary choices.
The athletes who took part in the Fall World Cups selection are automatically qualified among the 24 skaters per gender for the Canadian Open Championships. That leaves eight spots in play at the Canadian Open National Qualifier.
On Thursday, Dec. 4, the qualifying events in 500m and 1500m will start the competition. At least six skaters from the repechage will qualify for the main events. The following days will have the same format: repechage in the morning and the main event, including the finals, in the afternoon. The 1500m events will be held Friday, Dec. 5, while the 500m will be presented Saturday, Dec. 6.
For the 1000m events, held Sunday, Dec. 7, the top 10 skaters based on the cumulative time ranking in the 500m and 1500m events go directly to the main event. All other skaters will qualify Sunday morning through the repechage rounds.
Olympic medalist Olivier Jean back in action
Among those participating this week is 2010 Olympic gold medalist in the relay event and 2014 Olympian Olivier Jean.
Looking to complete his university studies in kinesiology, Jean decided to not take part in the Fall World Cup Selections in September and in the first four World Cups of the season while still training daily with his national team teammates. He will graduate from the Université du Québec à Montréal in few weeks.
“In this post-Olympic year, it was important for me to complete my university program as fast as I could," said Jean. “Now that it’s done, I can now fully focus on the international competitions and it all starts this weekend with the qualification for the Canadian Open Championships. Training is good, but I’m really excited to be back in competition.”
Thursday, December 4
AM: 1500m (qualification)
PM: 500m (qualification)

Friday, December 5
AM: 1500m (repechage)
PM: 1500m (finals)

Saturday, December 6
AM: 500m (repechage)
PM: 500m (finals)

Sunday, December 7
AM: 1000m (repechage)
PM: 1000m (finals)

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: 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 13,000 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 sponsor Intact Insurance, 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 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC