Bloemen, Dubreuil lead Canada's long-track speedskaters into Beijing

Canada's Ted-Jan Bloemen, right, leads teammates Connor Howe, centre, and Jordan Belchos during the men's team pursuit competition at the ISU World Cup speed skating event in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

CALGARY — Olympic champion Ted-Jan Bloemen and world champion Laurent Dubreuil lead Canada's long-track speedskating team into Beijing's Winter Olympics next month.

Calgary's Bloemen is the reigning Olympic champion in the men's 10,000 metres and Dubreuil of Levis, Que., won last year's 500 metres at the world championship.

They were among 16 skaters named to the Olympic long-track team Tuesday.

The athletes were chosen based on rankings from four World Cup events in November and December.

Bloemen won both of Canada's speedskating medals four years ago in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with gold in the 10k and silver in the 5k.

Ottawa's Ivanie Blondin is a two-time world champion in the women's mass start and Ottawa's Isabelle Wiedemann currently tops the World Cup standings in women's distance racing.

Blondin, Wiedemann and Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., are medal contenders in team pursuit.

Eight men and eight women will wear the Maple Leaf at Beijing's National Speed Skating Oval, also known as The Ice Ribbon, which is short of the maximum quota of nine athletes per gender per country.

Competition starts Feb. 5 with the women's 3,000 metres.

Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., Calgary's Brooklyn McDougall, Winnipeg's Heather McLean, Maddison Pearman of Ponoka, Alta., and Alexa Scott of Clandeboye, Man., round out of the Canadian women's contingent.

Toronto's Jordan Belchos, Graeme Fish of Moose Jaw, Sask., Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., Connor Howe of Canmore, Alta., Winnipeg's Tyson Langelaar and Calgary's Gilmore Junio complete the men's team.

Speed Skating Canada has named five non-travelling alternates to the team.

Saskatoon's Todd McClement, Gregor Jelonek of Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, Que., Mark Wild of Milton, Ont., and Bart Schouten and Remmelt Eldering of the Netherlands are Canada's coaches in Beijing.

Canada's long-track speedskaters have produced a total of 37 Winter Olympics medals.

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