Speed skaters on podium’s edge heading into Seoul World Cup

From Japan to South Korea they go.

Ivanie Blondin’s gold medal and two men’s fourth places are the basis for their momentum as the Canadian long track team prepares for World Cup #2 in Seoul, South Korea.

The Obihiro, Japan win was the first individual World Cup gold for Blondin who will cap the upcoming weekend with the mass start on Sunday after the 5000m on Friday and the 1000m on Saturday.

Both Denny Morrison and Vincent De Haître surely wish to bump their races to the next level. Morrison, a two-time Sochi medallist, was fourth last weekend in the 1500m while De Haître was fourth in his career-first 1000m.

Morrison called his Japan 1500m a ‘pleasant surprise’ citing lower placements at early World Cups before finding his stride in later season as an arrangement he is accustomed to. “This is a great place to start – especially when you consider that this result is one place better than my best 1,500m race before the Olympics last season,” said Morrison in a release on November 16th.

SEE ALSO: Young and fast: World Cup selections reveal next speed skating generation

Morrison, 29, is also entered in the 1000m, alongside 20-year-old De Haître who has the 500m and 1500m to fill out his schedule. The full list of Seoul race entries and schedule can be found here.

Another skater to expect a good race from is newly-minted Canadian Ted-Jan Bloemen. The Dutch-born distance specialist broke the Canadian record in the 10,000m at World Cup selections in October. According to Speed Skating Canada Bloemen will debut internationally for Canada in Seoul by racing the 10,000m on Saturday.

Denny Morrison and teammate Jordan Belchos did this for Bloemen:

Canada will be represented by a total of 11 men and 9 women in South Korea. Competition runs from Friday to Sunday and Olympic.ca will have updates online and via Twitter.