Good start for Canada at the World Junior Championships

Canada is off to a good start at the world junior championships in long track speed skating. Canadians stand third, fourth and fifth after the first men’s 500-metre race and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu of Sherbrooke, Que., is fourth in the all around standings.

In the men’s 500, Richard MacLenann of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., clocked the third fastest time finishing 0.06 seconds behind leader Artur Nogal of Poland who posted a track record 35.89 seconds. Gilmore Junio (Alberta) is in fourth spot while Laurent Dubreuil of Quebec City is fifth.

Dubreuil, 17, is making his world juniors debut. ‘’I beat my personal best time in the 500,’’ said Dubreuil who clocked 36.06 seconds. ‘’It was almost a perfect race. I’m very pleased.’’ The second 500 is on Saturday.

In the women’s first 500, Kate Hanly of Calgary was 11th. Kaylin Irvine (Alberta) was 12th while Isabel Dilger (Alberta), Brianne Tutt of Airdrie, Alta., and Kali Christ of Regina, SK were 22nd, 28th and 37th respectively.

Several titles contested

At the world juniors, the competitors are battling for the both the sprint and all around titles as well as medals at each distance.

In the all around standings, Gélinas-Beaulieu is fourth after placing 15th in the 500 and sixth in the 3,000. ‘’My goal is a top-five,’’ said Gélinas-Beaulieu, also a short track speed skater. ‘’I’m pleased because I beat my personal best times at both distances in less than ideal ice conditions. I showed I’m much better than last year.

Martin Corbett (Ontario) is 24th all around after placing 13th in the 500 and 27th in the 3,000.

For the women, Irvine was also 23rd in the 1,500 and is 11th all around after two of four distances. Christ and Tutt are 19th and 21st.

Competition continues Saturday with the second 500, 1,500 and 5,000 for the men and the 1,000 and 3,000 for the women.