Canadian speed skating fans can look forward to another World Cup opener this weekend, with the first the ISU long track event kicking off on Friday.

After watching short track start its World Cup season last weekend, Speed Skating Canada’s long track team is up next in Harbin, China. The season’s opener marks the first of five World Cup events, taking place before the championships season starts in February.

William Dutton (left) shakes hands with teammate and third-place finisher Alex Boisvert-Lacroix after the second World Cup 500m of the weekend in Calgary on November 15, 2015.

William Dutton (left) shakes hands with teammate and third-place finisher Alex Boisvert-Lacroix after the second World Cup 500m of the weekend in Calgary on November 15, 2015.

Related: International competitions coming to Canada this winter

The 2017 World Single Distance Championships will give speed skaters their first taste of PyeongChang 2018, with the competition doubling as an Olympic test event. With 2016 world medallists Ivanie Blondin, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix and Ted-Jan Bloemen – the world 10,000m record holder – competing this season, Canadian will not be flying under the radar this season. After the test event in Gangneung, the long track team will come home for the world sprint championships, where they will have the chance to win gold on home ice in Calgary from February 25-26.

Ivanie Blondin (centre) holds up her mass start world championship gold medal on February 14, 2016 in Kolomna, Russia.

Ivanie Blondin (centre) holds up her mass start world championship gold medal on February 14, 2016 in Kolomna, Russia.

Related: Winter preview – Skating towards PyeongChang 2018

The World Cup season will conclude with the circuit’s final event in Chelyabinsk, Russia in March. Where the team will look to improve on last year’s 30 medal haul, their performance since the 2008-2009 season. This year’s world Cup team includes several Olympians including four-time Olympic medallist Denny Morrison, who will look to get back on the World Cup podium, after his second near-death experience seven months ago.

With excitement for this year’s winter season building, fans can live stream the first long track World Cup event on the ISU Skating Channel.