Rempel & Gregg - Hungry for Victory

Shannon Rempel (Winnipeg, MB) and Jamie Gregg (Edmonton, AB) demonstrated their skating prowess Sunday at the Calgary Oval, during the Fall World Cup Selections for long track speed skating.

Both athletes won their respective two 500m events – earning themselves a chance to race that distance at the upcoming Fall World Cups. Rempel out-skated racing partner Christine Nesbitt (London, ON) in each of the 500m women’s races today.

“I had a really good day on the ice today, and it has been a good weekend for me,” said Rempel, who has already qualified for the 1000m and 1500m events. “The second 500m race was really tight, so I’m happy with my performance.”

Rempel crossed the line in 38.27 seconds during her second race, while Nesbitt was a mere two-hundredths of a second behind her. “I watched some videos of my previous races to see what I was doing and to improve on my technique,” commented Rempel.

Anastasia Bucsis (Calgary, AB) took third place in both 500m events.

Personal Bests for Schussler and Landry

In the 5000m event, Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg, MB) was the fastest on the ice, ahead of Cindy Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) and Nicole Garrido (Edmonton, AB). Schussler, a Manitoba native, skated the distance in a time of 7:04.36 – improving her previous best time by six seconds. “I’m satisfied with my current shape, but it’s still a bit too early to say exactly how the season will play out. Though it looks pretty good,” she explained. Schussler changed her summer preparations slightly, since she is now training under Xiuli Wang. “I’m happy to have won today (Sunday); my goal is to do the same at a World Cup.”

Leo Landry (Chelsea, QC) won the men’s 10 000m event. The young skater – who is only 20 years old – was rather surprised to find himself on the top step of the podium. Coming in at 13:37.36, Landry bested
Justin Warsylewicz (Regina, SK), and Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, QC), who completed their races in times of 13:52.97 and 14:00.17 respectively.

“It was a big surprise!” admitted the athlete who has trained at the Calgary Oval Training Centre for the past two years. “I didn’t think I could do that; I just wanted to set a personal best, but to win – that’s a great bonus!” added Landry who also skated a personal best time in Saturday’s 5000m event. “I was expecting to have a solid race in the 10 000m event, so I didn’t put too much pressure on myself.”

The Quebecois athlete hopes that this weekend’s successes will allow him to qualify for Team Canada, and participate in what would be his first World Cups races. “For the moment, I have no idea where I stand, but I’m hoping. I worked really hard, and I had solid summer training so I’m content with my season thus far.”

The Long and Short of It

The story of the day belongs to Gilmore Junio (Calgary, AB), who has found his niche on the team in the 500m event. In finishing fourth, he puts all chances on his side to get a spot at the starting line for Fall World Cup racing.

“This was my last chance to qualify, and I didn’t want to waste it,” he said. “I improved my personal best time by 0.8 seconds!”

A short two years ago, Junio was a short track speed skater; he decided to make the switch to long track in 2010, and he qualified for the World Junior Championships. In the first of his two 500m races today, he stopped the clock at 35.39 seconds; his second 500m race saw him skate an even faster time of 35.05 seconds. “These are my first selections as a senior, so I’m really pleased to qualify for the first half of the World Cup season.”

Jamie Gregg took the win in both 500m events; after the second series, Vincent Labrie (Lévis, QC) and William Dutton (Regina, SK) tied with cumulative score of 70.23 seconds.

Team Canada for the upcoming Fall World Cups will be announced by Speed Skating Canada’s High Performance Committee next week.