Canada’s Long Track Team Continues World Cup Season in Heerenveen

World Cup stop in the Netherlands marks final competition before the New Year

HEERENVEEN, NETHERLANDS – The Canadian long track team is in Heerenveen, Netherlands this weekend for the fourth stop of the ISU World Cup Speed Skating circuit of the season, which runs from December 14-16. They will look to add to the eight medals they have already won this season in this last competition of the calendar year.

Isabelle Weidemann of Ottawa, Ont. was the lone Canadian to reach the podium in an individual distance last weekend in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Poland. Despite feeling under the weather, she put together a smooth and consistent 5000m race, which earned her the silver medal. It was her second medal of the season, having previously won gold in the 3000m in Tomakomai, Japan.

Weidemann is currently ranked second in long distances on the World Cup circuit with 146 points, only three points behind leader Esmee Visser of the Netherlands. Her teammate Ivanie Blondin, also of Ottawa, Ont., is ranked fifth with 120 points, thanks to a pair of fourth-place finishes (3000m, 5000m) and an eight-place result (3000m).

Blondin is also the only other Canadian to win an individual medal so far this season, a bronze in the mass start in Tomakomai. She also finished fourth in Obihiro, Japan, and sits third in the overall mass start rankings with 176 points, behind Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy (194 points) and Bo-Reum Kim of Korea (216 points).

Meanwhile, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., a converted short track Olympian, had an excellent international debut on the long track circuit last weekend in Poland, which included a seventh-place result in the 1500m and second-place finish in the 5000m Division B race.

On the men’s side, Laurent Dubreuil of Lévis, Que. has earned four top 10 results so far this season, three in the 500m, including a season’s best fifth in Obihiro, and one in the 1000m. Teammate Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que. has three of his own, ninth and tenth position in the 1000m and eighth-place in the 1500m.

Graeme Fish posted one of the fastest 10,000m times last weekend at 13:20.562, which placed him third in the Division B grouping. The 21-year old from Moose Jaw, Sask., who is competing on the World Cup circuit for only the second season, will look to build upon his promising results.

Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que. has joined the team in the Netherlands, brining the total number of Canadian skaters to seventeen. It will mark the first World Cup of the year for Jean, who has been the country’s top ranked mass start skater over the past two seasons. The three-time Olympian will look to regain the form that helped him win a bronze medal at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships in that discipline.

This weekend’s program features only individual races, so Canada’s sprint and pursuit teams – who have captured one silver medal, three bronze medals and earned seven top 10 finishes - will have to wait until the next World Cup in February for the chance to race together again.

The competition in Heerenveen gets underway Friday with the semi-finals for the mass start. The 500m, 1500m and mass start finals will take place on Saturday, while those for the 1000m, ladies 3000m and men’s 5000m are set for Sunday.

CBC Sports and Radio-Canada will be live streaming the event on Saturday (8:45AM ET) and Sunday (8:45AM ET). A detailed event schedule, along with live results, can be found on the ISU Results Portal.

Please see below the full list of athletes that will be skating in this weekend. A biography of each athlete can be found at www.speedskating.ca/teams/long-track.

Ladies Team

  • BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON)
  • HUDEY, Marsha (White City, SK)
  • IRVINE, Kaylin (Calgary, AB)
  • MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, QC)
  • MCLEAN, Heather (Winnipeg, MB)
  • MORRISON, Keri (Burlington, ON)
  • WEIDEMANN, Isabelle (Ottawa, ON)

Men’s Team

  • BELCHOS, Jordan (Toronto, ON)
  • BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC)
  • BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB)
  • DUBREUIL, Laurent (Lévis, QC)
  • FIOLA, Christopher (Montreal, QC)
  • FISH, Graeme (Moose Jaw, SK)
  • GÉLINAS-BEAULIEU, Antoine (Sherbrooke, QC)
  • JEAN, Olivier (Lachenaie, QC)
  • JUNIO, Gilmore (Calgary, AB)
  • LA RUE, David (Saint-Lambert, QC)