In the men's 1500m, Vincent de Haître of Cumberland, ON, won his second national title of this week's competition by finishing first in Thursday's race in 1:45.11. De Haître had already pre-qualified in this distance, as he was for the 1000m.
“Being pre-qualified for these events took some of the pressure off, but it didn’t take off the pressure that I put on myself,” said Vincent de Haître. “I know I want to perform. I was hoping to set a faster time and I had a big plan for it over the last few weeks. I knew exactly how I wanted to do it. I executed the race pretty much according to plan, but the lap speed just wasn’t there today due to a few factors. It’s a confidence boost for the World Championships to see that I can still perform even when I’m tired.”
Ben Donnelly of Oshawa, ON, was second with a time of 1:46.46, four tenths of a second ahead of Denny Morrison (1:46.84) from Fort St. John, B.C.
Finishing in second place allowed Ben Donnelly to earn Canada's second and last available spot in the 1500m at the World Single Distance Championships. This will be the second time he will skate at this competition; he won bronze last spring in Kolomna, Russia, in the team pursuit event.
“I wanted it really bad, and I had to fight really hard during the last lap because I knew it would be close, but it ended well,” Ben Donnelly pointed out. “I’m super excited to be qualified for the World Single Distance Championships again, but this time it will be for an individual distance. It’s really nice because it’s the biggest competition of the year. Being able to go there and compete will be super fun, as well as a great learning experience leading into the Olympic year.”
“At the Fall World Cup trials, physically at the time I was there, but the execution of my race was poor,” added Donnelly, who did not qualify for the fall stages on the international circuit. “It was tough to take because I knew I had it in me to skate fast, but I just didn’t. Not being able to skate the fall World Cups and having to stay home really made me evaluate things and think, and want to work that much harder. It’s no fun to have to train at home without having races to look forward to or without having the payoff of racing. I really had to focus on the little things, more on the technical side than in terms of fitness.”
Event Date: 1/6/2017