Canada takes 4th place in men's team pursuit to conclude Long Track Speed Skating World Junior Championships

Canada finished fourth in the men's team pursuit and fifth in the same event on the women's side, Sunday, on the last day of the Long Track World Junior Championships held in Warsaw, Poland.

The Canadian trio of male skaters, comprised of Alexandre Déry (Lévis, QC), Ben Donnelly (Oshawa, ON) and Christopher Fiola (Montréal, QC), finished the team pursuit event in four minutes, eight seconds and 86 hundredths. This fourth-place result is the best by Canada at this event since at least 2010.

Canada finished a little more than four seconds away from a bronze medal, which was won by Japan in 4:04.69. The Netherlands (4:01.50) and South Korea (4:02.46) respectively earned gold and silver.

The Canadian women's team finished fifth as Noémie Fiset (Québec, QC), Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON) and Juliette Wheler (Saskatoon, SK) skated to a time of three minutes, 21 seconds and 95 hundredths, three seconds away from a podium. Medals went to the Netherlands (3:14.57), South Korea (3:17.96) and Japan (3:18.85). Poland finished ahead of Canada in fourth place, by 38 hundredths of a second.

“I think we worked very well together and it paid off. We were very close to fourth place,” noted Fiset, who was taking part in the World Junior Championships for the third straight time.

In the men's mass start, reigning Canadian junior champion Ben Donnelly was the top Canadian with a ninth-place finish (5:12.58), while his teammate Christopher Fiola was 11th (5:14.09).

On the women's side, Isabelle Weidemann finished 10th (6:03.79) in the mass start.
 
Best Canadian performances since at least 2010
Canadian team members did not win any medals at the 2015 World Junior Championships, but still made their mark by earning the best Canadian results since at least 2010 in several races: a 4th-place result by Isabelle Weidemann in the women's 3000m, 4th place by Canada in the men's team pursuit, 9th position by Christopher Fiola in the men's 1500m and 11th place by Ben Donnelly in the men's 5000m.
 
As well, Isabelle Weidemann, Noémie Fiset and Maddison Pearman (Ponoka, AB) respectively finished eighth, 11th and 14th in overall standings, putting three Canadians in the world's top-14 for the first time since at least 2010. Last year, Weidemann was 30th overall and Fiset, 14th.

“I'm pretty much satisfied with my 11th-place ranking in overall standings,” said Fiset, the 2015 Canadian junior champion. “I know I could have done better in the sprint distances (500m and 1000m), but it's still an improvement over my 14th-place finish last year.”

A similar scenario was observed on the men's side, as Christopher Fiola and Ben Donnelly respectively earned eighth and 10th place overall, Canadian bests since at least 2010.
 
More information can be found on Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY'S CANADIAN RESULTS:
Mass start W
10. Isabelle Weidemann (6:03.79)
DNF. Maddison Pearman
 
Mass start M
9. Ben Donnelly (5:12.58)
11. Christopher Fiola (5:14.09)
 
Team pursuit W
Canada: 5 (3:21.95)
(Noémie Fiset, Isabelle Weidemann, Juliette Wheler)
 
Team pursuit M
Canada: 4 (4:08.86)
(Alexandre Déry, Ben Donnelly, Christopher Fiola)

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 13,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC