120 Short Track Speed Skaters at Richmond’s Olympic Oval November 19-22 for the Canadian Open National Qualifier

A total of 120 short track speed skaters will take part in the Canadian Open National Qualifier, November 19-22 at the Olympic Oval in Richmond, B.C., where they will be looking to earn one of the remaining spots -- up to 15 per gender – at the Canadian Senior Championships.
The Canadian Senior Championships, to be held January 15-17 at Montreal's Maurice-Richard Arena, will determine who will skate for Canada at the two winter ISU World Cups and the Senior World Short Track Championships.
The Canadian Open National Qualifier will involve skaters who did not take part in the Fall World Cup Selections in Montreal in September. That competition was exclusively for the top 16 skaters per gender based on last year's ranking, including two discretionary choices.
The athletes who took part in the Fall World Cup Selections are automatically qualified among the 32 skaters per gender who will skate at the Canadian Senior Championships. That leaves about 30 spots in play at the Canadian Open National Qualifier.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, the qualifying events in the 500m and 1500m distances will kick off the competition. Skaters who do not qualify for the main events will have a second opportunity to qualify for one of six places available through the repechage in each distance, Friday through Sunday. The last three days of the event will all have the same format, as a repechage will be held in the morning while the main event, including the finals, will follow in the afternoon. The 1500m event will be held Friday, Nov. 20, while the 500m will take place Saturday, Nov. 21.
In the 1000m, held Sunday, Nov. 22, the top 10 skaters based on the cumulative time ranking in the 500m and 1500m races will go directly to the main event. The other skaters will try to qualify Sunday morning through the repechage rounds.
Olympic medalist Marie-Ève Drolet back in action
Among those participating this week will be two-time Olympic medalist in the relay, Marie-Ève Drolet, who won silver at the 2014 Games in Sochi and bronze in 2002 at Salt Lake City.
Following the birth of her first child last January, Drolet, age 33, has resumed full training and she aims to represent Canada at the 2015-2016 Winter World Cups, at the 2016 World Championships in March and at the 2018 Olympic Games.

“I’ve been training for two months now with the other women on the National Team and I would say that I’m at 80% of my top physical form”, said Drolet. “So far, my progressive return to training and to competition is going very well and skating at the Canadian Open National Qualifier this weekend will be an additional opportunity to prepare for the Canadian Senior Championships, to be held mid-January in Montreal. My short term goals are to represent Canada again at the Winter World Cups and at the 2016 World Championships.”

Webcasting of the competitions
Races during the Canadian Open National Qualifier will be webcasted through the www.viasport.ca website upon the competitions schedule.

Schedule (Richmond Time)
Thursday, November 19
AM: 1500m (qualification)
PM: 500m (qualification)

Friday, November 20
AM: 1500m (repechage)
PM: 1500m (finals)

Saturday, November 21
AM: 500m (repechage)
PM: 500m (finals)

Sunday, November 22
AM: 1000m (repechage)
PM: 1000m (finals)

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. 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.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
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