Posted by Editor on 12/24/01
Speedskating Cyclists Update
Clara Hughes has sent a quick note explaining the qualifying process for the Winter Olympics speedskating team.
The qualifying process is a complicated one, as the country spots have yet to be named by the international skating union. They are dependent on the World Cup results after the 4th World Cup in Heerenveen, Netherlands on the 11-13 January. As of right now we (Canada) have the maximum quota of 3 skaters as Cindy Klassen and I are both in the top 12 overall. Barring disaster, we should have 3 spots for Canada. As of right now I have one of those spots. I skate one more 3000m on the 28th of December, which is the last chance for anyone to overtake my time (which is currently 6 seconds faster than the next best), though I hope to go faster as well.
As for the 5000m . . . that is decided after the 3000m at The Olympics. The top 16 skaters go on to skate the 5000m. We (Canada) can earn a maximum of 3 spots. I get the second spot Canada earns as I was 2nd at trials in the 5000m. Confusing, eh? This is far more complicated than cycling-but at least it is based strictly on times. If I race what I want the 3000m is on the 10th Feb and the 5000m on the 23rd. I am really motivated for the longer race. So far I have the 2nd fastest time this year, the fourth best in history for the distance. It's hard to believe I have only been skating a total of 7 1/2 months!
As for cycling, I am focusing on the track next season, targeting the individual pursuit. I declined my spot on Saturn to do so and am looking forward to training and racing in Bromont at the new velodrome next summer!
We also have a note from Aaron Brown regarding Cindy Klassen (who won the 5000m at the Trials, with the third fastest time in history).
Thank you for your coverage on Clara Hughes finishing second at the Canadian Olympic Trials. It should be pointed out that Cindy Klassen is not only just a speedskater but also an accomplished cyclist who spent the past summer representing Manitoba at the Canada Summer Games in Cycling. (I believe she finished 5th in the road race). (Ed. Note: Aaron is correct about Ms Klassen's results at the Summer Games)
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