Speed Skating Canada has announced its long track national teams for the 2016-17 season ©Speed Skating Canada

Speed Skating Canada has announced its long track national teams for the 2016-17 season.

Thirty-four skaters have been named in one of three categories based on their performances last season: the national elite, national senior and national development pools.

The national elite and senior pools contain 19 selected senior athletes, based on their performances at the 2016 World Single Distance, World Sprint or World All-Round Championships, and/or World Cup standings last season.

The elite pool will be led by athletes who won medals at the 2016 World Single Distance Championships or finished in the top ten at the competition.

This includes Ivanie Blondin, world champion in the mass start, Ted-Jan Bloemen, silver medallist in the 10,000 metres, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, bronze medallist in the 500m and Jordan Belchos, who won a bronze medal in the team pursuit with Bloemen and Ben Donnelly.

Ivanie Blondin is in the elite pool ©Getty Images
Ivanie Blondin is in the elite pool ©Getty Images

This group also includes Gilmore Junio, Laurent Dubreuil, William Dutton and Alexandre St-Jean.

Four-time Olympic medallist Denny Morrison, who is recovering from a cerebrovascular accident, has also been named in the elite pool.

“Following my cerebrovascular accident and several conversations with the medical team, I had an angiogram surgery to place two stents into the carotid artery in my neck in order to repair the damage in that area," said Morrison.

“I now have a plan to safely work back up to maximal effort training without disturbing the healing process of the stents in my carotid artery and I'm about halfway through that process."

The senior pool is comprised of athletes who finished in the top 11 to 25 in one or several events in the 2015-2016 International Skating Union (ISU) World Cup overall rankings.

The national development pool includes younger athletes who took part in the 2016 World Junior Championships or were identified to the NextGen programme by Speed Skating Canada, based on the Long Track Athlete Pathway.

This is a model that Speed Skating Canada started implementing last year.

This 15-athlete pool includes members of last year's junior national team, such as Ben Donnelly, Christopher Fiola, Tyson Langelaar and Béatrice Lamarche.

While Donnelly was crowned 2016 world junior long track champion after collecting three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze, Fiola won three silver medals and Lamarche clinched two bronze medals.