A look back at the 2019 Oval Finale ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


23 mars 2019

A look back at the 2019 Oval Finale

The Canadian speed skating season came to a close last weekend at the Olympic Oval in Calgary. While many of the top skaters were not in action following the completion of their world cup season, skating fans were nonetheless treated to an excellent weekend of skating.
By: Maria Dalton
Photo: Maria Dalton

The oval saw numerous PBs and national records set over the four-day competition along with a World Record attempt by Nao Kodaira in the 500m.
Kodaira shines in the 500m
Nao Kodaira finished the season off in style, skating the second fastest 500m time and setting a new track record with her time of 36.39. Kodaira, who has been a force in the 500m over the past few seasons, is slowly inching her way closer and closer to the WR time set by Lee Sang-Hwa in 2013 (36.36). With her success this season we are eager to see how she fares heading into the next three years of the Olympic cycle.
In the first 500m on the men’s side it was Gilmore Junio who lead the way with his time of 34.79. He was followed by Jesper Hospes (34.90) and Henrik Rukke (34.97) who rounded out the top-3. In the second 500m it was Christopher Fiola who edged out Junio for the top spot finishing with a time of 34.64, a mere 2-tenths of a second faster than Junio. Henrik Rukke once again finished third in the distance.
Distance skaters make their mark
The future is bright for Canada’s long-distance skaters as three men dipped below the 13-minute mark in the 10km. World record holder and Olympic Champion Ted-Jan Bloemen lead the way with his time of 12:42.30 to establish a new track record, while Jordan Belchos finished second with a time of 12:50.31. Young skater Graeme Fish rounded off the top three with his time of 12:59.27. Canada’s distance skaters are in fine form as the first post-Olympic season comes to a close and will surely be ones to watch in the coming seasons.  
On the women's side, Valerie Maltais finished atop the pack in both the 3000m and 5000m. Maltais capped off her first long-track season and is making strides towards becoming a threat in distance races. She finished with a time of 7:01.92 in the 5000m and 4:03.13 in the 3000m.

Oval Finale Award Recipients
Athletes who had a very successful weekend of racing were awarded for their pursuits, they include:
- Hubert Marcotte (Finale Outstanding Canadian Junior) who set five personal bests of the course of the weekend
- Ophelie Juneau (Finale Outstanding Canadian Junior) who skated to three personal bests
- Yekaterina Aydova (Outstanding Female International) who set a new record for Kazakhstan in the 1500m
- Zhongyan Zing (Outstanding Male International)
- Kaylin Irvine (Outstanding Canadian Female)
- Graeme Fish (Outstanding Canadian Male)

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