11:30 p.m., Jan. 4)
qualifies for Olympic 5,000 metres; fellow Concordes member
de Haitre makes strong case to be included on team
By Fred Sherwin
Cumberland native Vincent de Haitre is hoping
to join fellow Gloucester Concordes member
Ivanie Blondin at the Winter Olympics in Sochi
next month after putting together an impressive
performance at the team selection trials in
Calgary this week. Calgary Herald photo
native Ivanie Blondin has qualified for a second event
at the Olympics in Sochi thanks to her winning performance
in the 5,000 metres at the national speed skating selection
trials in Calgary on Friday.
beat out Edmonton native Nicole Garrido by a fraction
of a second in a race that took both speed skaters a little
over seven minutes and 18 seconds to complete. Blondin`s
winning time was 7:18.45, slightly better than Garrido`s
time of 7;18.87.
only one spot open for a Canadian competitor in the 5000
metres at Sochi, it was a winner take all scenario as
the two skaters took the ice and Blondin emerged the victor.
wouldnt say I skated really well but Im obviously
happy that I came out on top today, the 23-year-old
Blondin told reporters after the race. I think its
kind of a miracle that I did.
the selection trials now over, Speed Skating Canadas
Olympic Selection Committee must decide which of the athletes
will fill the 10 female and eight male spots on the team.
is a shoe in with her first place performance in the 5000
and a second place finish in the 3000 metres on the opening
day of the trials last week. She is also a likely candidate
for the women's pursuit team which is a bonafide medal
will likely be joined in Sochi by fellow Gloucester Concordes
member Vincent de Haitre from Cumberland.
Haitre, who is the reigning national junior champion,
started the season ranked 10th in the 1000 metres and
11th in the 1500 metres. At the Fall World Cup Trials
in October, he placed sixth in the 1000 and fourth in
the 1500. He did substantially better this week, shaving
more than a second off his previous personal best time
to win the 1000 metres in 1:08.37, stunning both the crowd
feel out of this world, an overjoyed De Haitre said
after the race last Monday. This is surreal. I couldnt
be happier, really.
Haitre benefitted from a miscue by reigning Canadian senior
men's champ Denny Morrison who fell near the finish line.
But even if Morrison had stayed on his feet, De Haitre
would have still finished second. He also finished third
in the 1500, making a strong case for inclusion on the
Haitre and Blondin are both looking forward to competing
for their country in Sochi, but they're also looking forward
to a few days off before going to Tuscon, Arizona for
a training camp.
Canadian Olympic long track speed skating team will officially
be announced during a special event at the Calgary Oval
on Jan. 22, The Olympics begin on Feb. 6.
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