The Matsqui Blades Speed Skating Club in partnership with the British Columbia Speed Skating Association (BCSSA) and Speed Skating Canada is pleased to be hosting the 2004 Canada Post Open Championships.
The competition will bring together one hundred of the best speed skaters in Canada ranging from national to elite provincial level athletes.
Local club skaters, Tim Pelz and Alison Testroete will test themselves to fellow British Columbian skater and national development team member Daryl Rasmussen. Other provincial skaters competing for the national championship include Cory Rasmussen, Michael Friessen, Jasmine Reeves and Marc Legros.
The Canada Post Open Championships will also provide skaters the opportunity to collect valuable ranking points as they strive to be selected to Canada's national and development team program for the 2004 season. The national championships will also serve as the second of two competitions being used for selecting athletes to represent Canada at the 2004 World Team Championships, March 1314 in St. Petersburg, Russia and World Championships, March 1921 in Gothenburg, Sweden. This exciting sporting event takes place January 22 25 at the Abbotsford Recreation Center (ARC), in Abbotsford British Columbia.
Dates of the competition are as follows: Thursday January 22 Pursuits Friday January 23 1500m Saturday January 24 500m Sunday January 25 1000m, 3000m FINALS
The men's competition will feature Olympians Eric Bedard, Mathieu Turcotte, Frederic Blackburn and Jonathan Guilmette. Certain to amaze the crowd at their blistering speed will be JeanFrancois Monette a former World Junior Champion and current world record holder in the 500m, Jeff Scholten former world record holder in the 500m and Steve Robillard current 1000m record holder. On the women's side spectators will see Abbotsford's own 2002 Olympic bronze medallist Alanna Kraus along with 2003 world cup circuit silver medallist and female short track athlete of the year Amelie GouletNadon. Other notable athletes include Tania Vicent, Anne Maltais and Amanda Overland to name a few. Reference: Matsqui Blades Speed Skating Club Donna Bilous at 604- 853-7708 Sue Rasmussen at 250-962- 1582.