Ivanie Blondin and Ben Donnelly will be the two Canadian representatives at the ISU world allround speedskating championships in Hamar, Norway this weekend.
The skaters will take part in the 500 metres, 1,500, women’s 3,000 and men’s 5,000 events. The top eight skaters following those distances will then compete in the women’s 5,000 or men’s 10,000 events to get additional points for the overall championship.
The 500, women’s 3,000 and men’s 5,000 will be held Saturday, while the 1,500, women’s 5,000 and men’s 10,000 events are scheduled Sunday. There are no medals for each individual distance. The championship is only based on the final ranking at the end of the competition.
Blondin, who won a bronze medal in the 5,000 at the world single distance championships in Gangneung, South Korea, a couple of weeks ago, took the 16th spot in the final ranking of the world allround championships last year in Berlin.
“My objectives for this year’s world allround championships are to finish in the top five,” the Ottawa native said. “Given all my personal bests, I believe that this should be possible for me to achieve. I would also like to take this weekend as preparation for the World Cup final mentally and physically.”
Donnelly, of Oshawa, Ont., will take part in his first world allround championships after he finished first in the cumulative ranking of the 500, 1,500 and 5,000 events at the Canadian single distance championships in Calgary in January.
“I am feeling very confident in my abilities going into my first-ever world allround championships,” said Donnelly. “I was able to finish first in the overall ranking at the world junior championships last year, so I am looking forward to see how I measure up at the senior level and give the veterans a run for their money.”
Canada will aim to get back on the podium at the event for the first time since 2012 when Christine Nesbitt finished third overall on the women’s side.
The Canadian Press