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Jordan Belchos earns second 10,000 metre spot on Canadian Olympic team


CALGARY — Jordan Belchos earned the second spot on Canada's 10,000 metre long-track speedskating team for the Olympic Games with a second place finish in the distance at the trials on Tuesday night.

The Toronto native completed the race in 13 minutes 22.53 seconds to finish second behind Calgary's Ted-Jan Bloemen and qualify for the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Bloemen, who finished in 12:43.04, had pre-qualifying for the Olympics after a silver medal at the World Cup held in Stavanger, Norway, last fall.

Graeme Fish (13:28.13) from Moose Jaw, Sask., came third.

"I have the Olympic shirt sitting in my dresser that's been there since the media summit in June, and I had always refused to wear it or touch it, but now I can finally go home and put it on," said Belchos, who qualified for his first Olympic Games.

"It's like when you put the biscuit on the dog's nose and it has to wait before it can eat it. I'm just going through the acceptance of that right now and it feels good. It's honestly been a stressful few months."

Some skaters, like Bloemen, were pre-qualified for the 2018 Olympic team in certain distances before trials, based on their results in World Cups the first half of this season, and last year's world single-distance championship.

Canada can take up to 10 men and 10 women to Pyeongchang to compete in long-track speedskating. The Olympic team will be unveiled Wednesday in Calgary.

Those chasing Olympic berths at trials had to finish in the top three in their races, and also meet or have already met Speed Skating Canada's time standard in the distance, in order to be considered for the team.

Ottawa's Isabelle Weidemann earned Canada's second spot in the women's 5,000 by winning the distance at the trials in 7:00.64. Josie Morrison (7:05.99) and Victoria Spence (7:13.39), both from Kamloops, B.C., finished second and third, respectively.

Weidemann had already qualified for the Games in the 3,000.

Other female athletes who earned nomination to the Olympic team by the conclusion of trials were Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa, Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont., Weidemann, Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, Alta., Kali Christ of Regina, Marsha Hudey of White City, Sask., Heather McLean of Winnipeg and Kaylin Irvine of Calgary.

The other men who met Olympic criteria were Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., Vincent de Haitre of Cumberland, Ont., Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke Que., Gilmore Junio of Calgary, Laurent Dubreuil of Levis, Que., and Alex St. Jean of Quebec City.

The Canadian Press

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