Ivanie Blondin & Ted-Jan Bloemen win first races at Long Track Fall World Cup Selections

Calgary, October 20, 2016 – Veteran skaters Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, ON, and Ted-Jan Bloemen of Calgary, AB, both came up with strong performances on the way to victory respectively in the women's 3000m and the men's 5000m, Thursday, on the first day of Speed Skating Canada's Long Track Fall World Cup Selections held until Sunday at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

In the women’s 3000m, Ivanie Blondin finished first with a time of 4:05.95, followed by Isabelle Weidemann, also from Ottawa, who clocked a time of 4:08.61.

“It’s kind of a relief for me seeing the time I posted today. It’s one of the fastest times I’ve ever skated at this time of the season, so I’m really happy with that. I know I still have a lot of work to do before the World Cup season starts,” said Blondin.

“Everyone’s times are coming down this season, the other women are doing so well. Isabelle is doing incredibly well and it’s good motivation that we are finally starting to fill the really strong women’s long distance team again,” added Blondin.

“Today I went out and did what I was hoping to do, which was to come up with a good enough performance to qualify for the team,” explained Weidemann, who is already prequalified for the 5000m thanks to the fifth-place result she earned at the 2016 World Single Distance Championships. “My lap times were consistent, but I didn’t feel great, I was kind of slow and a bit scattered, so I need to work on that. Still, it’s good to get one under my belt and the more experience I get throughout the year, the better I will feel.”

Josie Spence of Kamloops, B.C., finished third in 4:11.80, missing by only nine hundredths of a second the time standard that would have allowed her to be eligible for selection in this distance at the first ISU World Cup Long Track stage of the season.

In the men’s 5000m, Ted-Jan Bloemen crossed first with a time of 6:15.41, followed by Jordan Belchos of Toronto, ON, who was second in 6:22.99 and by Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, ON, who was third with a time of 6:30.01. Bloemen, Belchos and Donnelly stood together on the podium last season at the World Single Distance Championships with a bronze in the team pursuit event.

Bloemen, who is already prequalified in the 5000m event for this season's first World Cup following his fifth-place result at the 2016 World Single Distance Championships, and Belchos were the only skaters to achieve the time standard of 6:28.93 needed to be eligible for selection in this distance for the 2016-2017 season's first World Cup stage.

“I wanted to do a good solid race, just get a good feel out of this and build some confidence going into the season. The first 3000m were super easy, so it was very nice to see that the pace is good for me right now,” said Bloemen. “At the start of the season, it’s hard to judge where you stand, especially after coming up with really good performances last season. Can I grow further than the top three at the international level? That is the question I want to answer at the World Cups.”

“My execution was close to where I wanted it to be, but not quite there,” stated Belchos. “The speed didn’t come quite as easily as I was aiming for. I don’t feel complacent in any way and I have to be better than I am right now. I certainly feel good and all the pieces are there, I just have to put them together a little better.”

The stand-out performance in the 5000m event came from 19-year-old skater Graeme Fish of Moose Jaw, SK who lowered his personal best time from 6:33.46 to 6:32.83 and finished a strong fifth-place place in the rankings.

In the women's 3000m, Béatrice Lamarche of Quebec City (Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough), QC, did well as she lowered her personal best from 4:24.37 to 4:19.98.

Racing resumes Saturday at 1:30pm with the first race of two for the men’s and women’s 500m, followed by the men’s 10,000m starting at 2:30pm and the women’s 5000m beginning at 3:35pm, local time. The competition ends Sunday.

More details and the complete schedule are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.

3000m W
1. Ivanie Blondin (4:05.95)
2. Isabelle Weidemann (4:08.61)
3. Josie Spence (4:11.80)

5000m M
1. Ted-Jan Bloemen (6:15.41)
2. Jordan Belchos (6:22.99)
3. Benjamin Donnelly (6:30.01)

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 14,000 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 sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Kerry Dankers
Long Track Program and Communications Coordinator
Speed Skating Canada
Email: kdankers@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-589-8960
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC 

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