Canadians perform well at 2003 World Masters

Text provided courtesy of Ross Hanham.

Thirteen Canadian masters skaters were among 200 competitors from 10 countries who participated in the 12th International Seniors Speed Skating Games in the Netherlands during March 17 to 19.

The Olympic style long track competition consisted of 5-year age categories ranging from 30-34 up to 80-85 for both women and men.

Agatha Van Der Starre of Vancouver British Columbia was first overall in the female 70+ category.

Canadian results were also prominent in the male 70+ class where Tony Zegers of Kingston Ontario, Pierre Gagne of Quebec City and Gerrit Bos of London Ontario placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively out of 10 competitors. Zegers clocked 5:19.87 for the fastest 3000 m time, while Gagne skated to a 2:32.92 win in the 1500 m.

Top ten overall performances were delivered by Anne de Billy of Ste. Foy Quebec (8th in women 50+), Bob Laurence of Cambridge Ontario (8th in male 45+), Gaston Roy of Levis Quebec (9th in male 60+) and Peter Blokker of Vernon British Columbia (9th in male 70+). Roy took 3rd place in the 500 m clocking 44.84 seconds.

Other Canadian participants included Lyse Fournier of Matanne Quebec, Ann Hanham of Burlington Ontario and Suzanne Gringras of Ste. Foy Quebec who placed 11th, 12th and 16th respectively in 45+ women. Ted Dijkstra of Vancouver British Columbia finished 13th among men 65+, while Ross Hanham of Burlington Ontario ended up 21st in the male 45+ category.

Personal best times were achieved by many of the Canadian skaters taking advantage of excellent ice and weather conditions at the “De Meent” skating oval in Alkmaar.

Complete results can be found at

Next year’s competition will take place in February in Inzell Germany.