Adapted from news posted October 22nd 2017 on:
VINCENT DE HAÎTRE & DENNY MORRISON SHINE IN 1000M
Vincent De Haître confirms his no 1 spot in the men's 1000m
In the men’s 1000m, a total of seven skaters met the time criteria of 1:09.32 needed as Canada will have a maximum of four spots available in this event at the Fall World Cups. Among the seven are Vincent De Haître, who had already prequalified, and Olympic medalist Denny Morrison.
De Haître, from Cumberland, ON, won the race in 1:07.83, ahead of Alexandre St-Jean (1:08.50), Morrison (1:08.59), from Fort St. John, B.C., David LaRue (1:08.79, a new personal best) from Saint-Lambert, QC, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (1:09.07), Laurent Dubreuil (1:09.11) and Richard Maclennan (1:09.22) from Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
“I have mixed feelings, but I’m happy with the end result. I came here preselected and I wanted to show why that was the case, and the only way to do that was to win,” said De Haître, who had already prequalified in this event after he won a silver medal at last season's World Single Distance Championships. “At the same time, although my race was good overall, there’s still a lot that I need to work on and some things where out of my control today. I think some good things can come from this race.”
“I’m happy with how my experience and maturity in racing showed today,” said Morrison. “I don’t have to make any huge changes anymore. I have the trust and confidence in myself to just build off this and let it happen a little more.”
“My family is my number one teammate and they know better than everyone what I’ve been through on the ice and off, and not just in speed skating but pertaining to life as well,” added Morrison. “It’s emotional, a very positive emotion.”
IVANIE BLONDIN, CHRISTOPHER FIOLA & KERI MORRISON QUALIFY FOR FALL WORLD CUPS IN MASS START
Keri Morrison, Ivanie Blondin and Christopher Fiola joined Olivier Jean on the Canadian team for the women's and men's mass start events to be held at the Fall World Cups, while David LaRue set a new Canadian junior record in the men's 1500m, Sunday, on the fourth and last day of the Long Track Fall World Cup Selections held at Calgary's Olympic Oval. Ivanie Blondin from Ottawa, ON, won the second women’s mass start held Sunday, to finish first in overall standings in front of Keri Morrison from Burlington, ON, who won the first race held Saturday, October 14, ahead of Blondin. Tied with 180 points each, the combined times from both races determined Blondin as the overall winner.
Ivanie Blondin and Keri Morrison therefore took the two spots that have been awarded to Canada at the Fall World Cups in the women's mass start.
Blondin, Fiola, Jean and Morrison will now vye to personally qualify for the Olympic Games by finishing in the top 16 in the Special Olympic Qualification Classification (SOQC) following the four Fall World Cups. First place spots would go to Blondin and Jean and the second spots to Fiola and Morrison if each of these four skaters finishes in the top 16 in the SOQC.
“Today's mass start, as opposed to last week's, had more of a pace like we see at the World Cup”, said Blondin. “The girls worked well together to make sure the pace was faster, even earlier on in the race, which worked out to my advantage I think.”
A record by David La Rue, the 1500m wins to Vincent De Haître and Ivanie Blondin
Vincent De Haître from Cumberland, ON, won the event with a time of 1:43.56 to improve his old personal best that stood at 1:44.27. He therefore finished ahead of Denny Morrison from Fort St. John, B.C. (1:44.16), Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu from Sherbrooke, QC (1:44.32, a new personal best), David La Rue from Saint-Lambert, QC (1:45.16, a new personal best and a new Canadian junior record), Ben Donnelly from Oshawa, ON (1:45.60) and Tyson Langelaar from Winnipeg, MB (1:46.70).
The six skaters all met the required time standard of 1:46.72, but Canada was awarded a maximum of four spots in the men's 1500m at the Fall World Cups. Vincent De Haître had already prequalified in this event after finishing fourth in that distance at last season's World Single Distance Championships.
“I would have liked to do a couple of things differently, but overall that was the race I wanted to skate,” said De Haître. “Three skaters in the pairs before me came within one tenth of a second of my personal best, so I knew I was going to have to be at my best today. And I don't think I could have done much better than that – seven tenths better than my personal best, those kinds of times don't come that often. This brings me closer to my goal of setting Canadian records and moving towards world record times someday.”
Ivanie Blondin won the women’s 1500m in a race where five skaters met the time criteria of 1:57.40 required to be eligible for selection at the Fall World Cups. A maximum of four spots have been awarded to Canada in this event.
Blondin skated to a time of 1:55.48 to finish ahead of two skaters who set new personal bests on Sunday – Brianne Tutt from Airdrie, AB (1:55.62) and Isabelle Weidemann from Ottawa, ON (1:56.52). Kali Christ from Regina, SK and Keri Morrison followed in fourth and fifth place in 1:56.70 and 1:57.26, respectively.
“Obviously I felt better today after being a little sick early on in the week, which had an impact on my races at the start of the competition,” pointed out Blondin.
Because only a total of 20 athletes will be selected on the Canadian team for the Fall World Cups, except for the stage that will be held in Calgary, these are provisional qualifications at this point except the four athletes in mass start. The final team will be announced over the next few weeks.