Canada places four skaters in top 20 at World Junior ST Championships

Canada places four skaters in top 20 at World Junior Short Track Championships in Poland

WARSAW, Poland
- Genève Bélanger, Audrey Phaneuf, Sasha Fathoullin and Yoan Gauthier all reached the 1,500-metre semifinals and placed in the top 20 at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Warsaw, Poland. Saturday’s races will include the 500 metres and relay semifinals. Live web streaming is available at http://www.YouTube.com/SkatingISU.

In the junior women’s 1,500 metres, Montreal’s Bélanger reached the semifinals after winning her preliminary race and placing second in her quarterfinal heat. Phaneuf, of Boucherville, Que., also won her first race and was third in the quarterfinals. With only the top two skaters from each of the three semifinals advancing to the final, both Bélanger and Phaneuf were eliminated after finishing fourth and fifth in their respective races.

Bélanger finished 11th overall and Phaneuf was 13th. Joanie Gervais, of Jonquière, Que., took 32nd place after placing third in her first race and sixth in the quarterfinals.

Fathoullin had a final ranking of 12th overall in the men’s 1,500 metres and Gauthier was 18th. Calgary’s Fathoullin and Gauthier, of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., both skated in the same semifinal heat, finishing fourth and being penalized, respectively. Fathoullin had a spot in the semifinals after placing second in his preliminary race and being advanced in the quarterfinals. Gauthier also was second in his first race, but then won his quarterfinal heat.

David Goulet, of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que. was 34th in the 1,500 metres. He was second in his first race and fifth in the quarterfinals.

In the women’s relay quarterfinal, Canada advanced to the Saturday’s semifinals after finishing second behind Russia, but ahead of the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Kim Boutin, of Sherbrooke, Que., joined Bélanger, Phaneuf and Gervais in the race. They will battle France, Korea and Russia to reach the final.

The Canadian men’s relay team had two races today. In the their preliminary heat they placed second behind Japan with Turkey finishing third and Bosnia-Hercegovina fourth. In the quarterfinals, Canada beat Russia, Japan and Kazakhstan to move onto the semifinals. They will face Germany, Italy and the United States.

Toronto’s William Preudhomme was the fourth skater in the relay along with Fathoullin, Gauthier and Goulet.