Three Canadians in contention for overall titles at the ISU World Cup Final in Belarus

Blondin, Bloemen and Boisvert-Lacroix to skate at the competition held this weekend in Minsk

Minsk, Belarus, March 15, 2018 – Canada will be represented by three long track speed skaters at the ISU World Cup Final to be held March 17-18 in Minsk, Belarus. All three competitors are in contention for 2017-2018 World Cup season titles, with Ivanie Blondin, in the 3000m/5000m, and Ted-Jan Bloemen, in the 5000m/10,000m, currently sitting in first place overall in World Cup ranking in their respective event, and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix in second place in the 500m.

Blondin from Ottawa will then compete in the 3000m and mass start as the sole women’s representative for Canada, while Ted-Jan Bloemen from Calgary will skate in the 5000m and Alex Boisvert-Lacroix from Sherbrooke, QC, in the 500m.

The World Cup Final is limited to the best skaters based on the World Cup overall standings following the first five stages, including the 12 best per gender in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m distances, the 20 best in the mass start events and the six best in the team events.

At the World Cup Final, the point system is expanded for the top five finishers. The winner of each race gets 150 points compared to 100 for the other World Cups, followed by 120 (80) for second, 104 (70) for third, 90 (60) for fourth and 76 (50) for fifth – except for the 500m event, where both races are worth half the points (75 points for each race winner).

On the women’s side, Ivanie Blondin could be crowned 2017-2018 World Cup champion in the 3000m/5000m as she is currently in first place with 335 points. Martina Sáblíková from Czech Republic (320 points) and Natalia Voronina from Russia (315 points) are not far from her, however.

In mass start, Blondin is in sixth place, 83 points behind the leader, Francesca Lollobrigida from Italy.

“I’m looking forward to another weekend of racing. I took some time off from training after the Olympics and I am back into training now, and ready to compete this weekend.  It’s the final one this season, so I’ll be looking forward to skating to the best of my ability,” said Blondin.

On the men’s side, Ted-Jan Bloemen is in first place in the 5000m/10,000m with 410 points, followed by Sven Kramer from the Netherlands with 300 points.

“I am leading the overall world cup ranking right now and even though this season has been a huge success already, I want to prepare myself one more time to maintain first place and win the World Cup,” said Bloemen.

In the 500m, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix is in second position with 428 points, while Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen from Norway is first with 536 points and Ronald Mulder, from the Netherlands, third with 416 points.

“This is the last competition of the season, a very long season filled with emotions, jet lag and long stays abroad,” pointed out Boisvert-Lacroix. “I don’t know what to expect for this competition. I don’t know what I have left in my legs and in terms of energy. It will be a surprise when I look at the scoreboard for my time and my position! In an ideal world, I would like to remain in the top three in the cumulative ranking. Otherwise, doing better than my top five two years ago would be a good result as well.”

Members of the Canadian national team for ISU Final World Cup 2018

WOMEN                                                              
-BLONDIN, Ivanie (Ottawa, ON) – 3000m, mass start

MEN
-BLOEMEN, Ted-Jan (Calgary, AB) – 5000m
-BOISVERT-LACROIX, Alex (Sherbrooke, QC) – 500m

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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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