Christopher Fiola & Noémie Fiset fifth & eighth after the first day of competition at the Long Track World Junior Championships

Reigning junior Canadian champion Noémie Fiset (Quebec City, QC) and Christopher Fiola (Montréal, QC) are the top Canadians in overall standings after the first day of competition at the Long Track Speed Skating World Junior Championships held until Sunday in Warsaw, Poland.

Fiset, age 19, was the best skater from the Canadian team in the only 500m race of the weekend, as she finished in 14th place with a time of 41 seconds and 58 hundredths. Maddison Pearman (Ponoka, AB) was close behind in 16th place with a time of 41.77. Austria's Vanessa Bittner won the race in 40.26.
 
Fiset finished 11th in the women's 1500m with a time of two minutes, 10 seconds and 31 hundredths. In that same event, Speed Skating Canada’s training squad member Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON) was the top Canadian with a time of 2:09.28, finishing ninth, a little over five seconds away from the winner, Dutch skater Melissa Wijfje (2:04.15). Weidemann, however, was 43rd in the 500m (43.79).

After two races, Fiset is eighth in overall standings while Maddison Pearman is 15th, Isabelle Weidemann, 19th, and Juliette Wheeler (Saskatoon, SK), 26th.

“I was disappointed with my performance in the 500m because I know I can do better in sprint distances,” said Fiset. “But I'm quite happy with my 1500m and, at the end of the day, being eighth overall gives me confidence for the next races.”
 
On the men's side, Christopher Fiola is the highest-placed Canadian in overall standings with a provisional fifth place, after finishing ninth in the 1500m (1:56.15) and 13th in the 500m (37.86).
 
South Korea's Kim Jun-Ho won the 500m (36.43) while Patrick Roest of the Netherlands finished first in the 1500 with a time of 1:52.31, a track record.

“I had a good start in the 500m, but I wanted it too much after that, and I didn't push as well as I should have to go at maximum speed,” explained Fiola, age 18. “I also slipped in the last turn, and I lost all of my speed. But I did well in the 1500m. I skated my best in the first 400m to reach a good cruising speed, and after that, I was able to maintain that speed in the turns and relax in the straights. I think I managed my race well and I'm satisfied with the result.”

“Saturday, it will be very important to have a good 1000m in order to maintain my position in overall standings, and I will have to race my best in the 5000m.”
 
Alex Ruel-Garvey (Calgary, AB), who is taking part in his first Junior World Championships, as is Fiola, was the fastest Canadian in the men's 500m with a time of 37.41, good for sixth place. That was the best result by a Canadian skater so far in the competition. He subsequently ended up 35th in the 1500m (2:00.64).

“It's an honour to be the best Canadian today,” said Ruel-Garvey, also 18, who is 17th in overall standings. “It was a good day for most of us and I'm happy I was a part of it. It's a great experience so far and I hope I will have even more success over the next two days.”
 
Ben Donnelly (Oshawa, ON) and Alexandre Déry (Lévis, QC) are respectively 15th and 18th in overall standings after two events.

Canada has never had a skater, male or female, finish in the top-10 in overall standings at the Long Track World Junior Championships since Kate Hanly in 2012.
 
Saturday, on the second day of competition, the 1000m, team sprint, women's 3000m and men's 5000m races are scheduled.

More information, including the complete schedule, results and webcast details, can be found on Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY'S CANADIAN RESULTS:
500m W
14. Noémie Fiset (41.58)
16. Maddison Pearman (41.77)
39. Juliette Wheler (43.507)
43. Isabelle Weidemann (43.79)

1500m W
9. Isabelle Weidemann (2:09.28)
11. Noémie Fiset (2:10.31)
17. Maddison Pearman (2:12.59)
25. Juliette Wheler (2:14.62)

500m M
6. Alex Ruel-Garvey (37.41)
13. Christopher Fiola (37.86)
16. Alexandre Déry (38.08)
27. Ben Donnelly (38.40)

1500m M
9. Christopher Fiola (1:56.15)
14. Ben Donnelly (1:56.99)
25. Alexandre Déry (1:58.96)
35. Alex Ruel-Garvey (2:00.64)

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