Canadians perform well at 2004 World Masters

Text provided courtesy of Ross Hanham and Anne de Billy. Photo by Anika Bédard.

Ten Canadian masters skaters were among 213 competitors from 13 countries who participated in the 13th International Seniors Speed Skating Games in Inzell, Germany during February 27 to 29.

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.

Canada’s best performance came from Anika Bédard of Québec City who placed 3rd overall in the female 35+ category. Bédard’s podium standing included 3rd place finishes of 2:34.51 for 1500 m and 5:31.96 for 3000 m.

Ann Hanham of Burlington Ontario and Anne de Billy of Ste. Foy Québec also performed well in the female 50+ classification. Ann Hanham ranked 4th. In the female 45+ category, Lyse Fournier of Matanne Québec placed 7th overall.

In her first long track competition ever, Jennifer Morris of Mississauga Ontario skated well finishing 6th overall in women 30+.

Canada’s best overall male result came from Pierre Gagné of Charlesbourg Québec who finished 6th in the male 70+ class.

Gaston Roy of Levis Quebec provided the best male individual distance result skating to a 1st place finish in the 500 m event in a time of 44.65 seconds almost breaking the record in his age class. Roy’s overall performance ranked him 12th in the 60+ age category.

Bob Laurence of Cambridge Ontario also delivered a top ten overall performance placing 10th in the male 45+ classification including a 7th place finish in the 5000 m event on snow-covered ice.

Other Canadian participants included Reg van Drecht of Fredricton New Brunswick and Ross Hanham of Burlington Ontario who placed 18th and 19th in the male 50+ division.

Personal best times were achieved by many of the Canadian skaters despite cold and snowy conditions at the Ludwig Schwabl Eis-Stadion skating oval.

Coaching was provided by Gaétan Rochette of Quebec City who is also Canada’s representative to the International Masters Speed Skating Committee (IMSSC) and an IMSCC representative to the ISU Masters Group.

Complete results can be found at

Next year’s competition will take place in Baselga di Pinè, Italy.