Speed Skating Canada unveils its final roster for the 2018 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships

The competition will take place March 2-4 in Tomaszow Mazoviecki, Poland

Montreal, January 15, 2017 – Speed Skating Canada announced today its national team for the 2018 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships to be held March 2-4 in Tomaszow Mazoviecki, Poland.

On the women’s side, Alyson Charles of Montreal (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough), Danaé Blais of Châteauguay, QC, Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., and Claudia Gagnon of Saguenay (La Baie borough), QC, will represent the country after they took the first four spots in overall rankings at the Canadian Junior Championships, held December 15-17 in Ville de Saguenay.
 
Vincent Girard of Ville de Saguenay, QC, Alexis Marceau of Rivière-du-Loup, QC, Adrian Rudy of Toronto, ON, and Marco Schumann of Saskatoon, SK, will be the Canadian representatives on the men’s side.

Speed Skating Canada’s NextGen coach Sébastien Cros will lead the team with coaches Jeff Scholten (ChPC) and Alan McIlveen.

After taking the first two spots in overall rankings following the Canadian Junior Championships, Courtney Sarault and Alyson Charles, as well as Adrian Rudy and Marco Schumann, will take part in the individual distances at the World Junior Championships, i.e. the 500m, 1000m and 1500m races.

Following the three individual events, the top six skaters in the World Junior Championships overall standings will then skate in the 1500m Super Final.
 
The third and last positions for the individual distances will be determined among the other members of the team at the discretion of the Short Track High Performance Committee and will be announced at a later date.
 
A relay event, in which Danaé Blais, Claudia Gagnon, Vincent Girard and Alexis Marceau will take part in, is also scheduled.

Sarault and Rudy crowned 2017 Canadian junior champions
The 2017 Canadian Junior Champions crowned two new champions: Courtney Sarault on the women’s side and Adrian Rudy on the men’s side.
 
Sarault, who took part in her first World Junior Championships last year, won gold in the 1000m, 1500m and 1500m Super Final, and silver in the 500m at the Canadian Junior Championships to conclude the competition in first position overall.
 
“Going in, I was really not expecting to be in first place overall”, said Sarault. “I was hoping for a top three result so I could skate at the World Junior Championships. So first place is a bonus! It's very special to be Canadian Junior Champion since Canada is such a good country in speed skating. As the first-place skater going to Worlds, I will be more confident than if I had come in third.”
 
“The first time, I didn't have any experience,” added Sarault, alluding to her first Worlds last year. “It was fun and I tried to do my best, but I was really nervous and the outcome wasn't what I wanted it to be. This year, after I went to some international competitions, including last year at the Worlds, I feel I have much more international experience. It got me ready for this time, and I actually feel like I can be up there on the podium.”
 
“This year, I want to make sure that all my races are executed properly, that I have good races and I want to be happy about my performances there. Finishing somewhere at the top would be my goal, maybe fight for a medal. And I want our relay to get a medal!”
 
Adrian Rudy won the 1000m and 1500m events and a silver medal in the 1500m Super Final in Ville de Saguenay to grab the men’s Canadian Junior Championships title.
 
“It’s incredible! It was a surprise. I didn't expect to do that. Last year, there was so many really strong skaters,” said Rudy, who decided to quit speed skating last year but ended up coming back.

“I was training in a small club in Toronto and I was pretty much the only fast skater there. It was hard to stay motivated and try to go to school at the same time. I was going to go to university and have a normal life but it was hard. However, I felt I did very well with the efforts I was putting in and I was competing well with people in training centres. I thought I had some potential and I tried to take advantage of it with the Olympic Oval program at the University of Calgary.”
 
Rudy is counting on his endurance to shine in Poland.
 
“I want to see if I can make it to the semifinals and try to win a medal in the 1500m, which is my best event,” he said.
 
Alyson Charles will take part in her fourth World Junior Championships after she took the 10th spot overall last year. In Ville de Saguenay, Charles finished second with a gold medal in the 500m, silver in the 1000m and 1500m and bronze in the 1500m Super Final.
 
Danaé Blais, who contributed to the fourth place finish by the women’s relay last year in Innsbruck, Austria, will attend this competition for a third time. At the Canadian Junior Championships, she collected a bronze medal in the 500m and 1500m events as well as a silver medal in the 1500m Super Final to take the third spot in overall standings.
 
Claudia Gagnon will skate in her first World Junior Championships after she won a bronze medal in the 1000m race at Ville de Saguenay.
 
Like Rudy and Gagnon, Vincent Girard and Alexis Marceau will be skating in their first World Junior Championships. At Ville de Saguenay, Girard collected a bronze medal in the 500m and a gold medal in the 1500m Super Final while Marceau got a silver medal in the 1000m and a bronze in the 1500m Super Final.
 
Marco Schumann will take part in his second World Junior Championships. Last year, he was the top Canadian with Alyson Charles with a 10th position in the overall rankings, including a sixth place finish in the 1500m. At the Canadian Junior Championships, he won gold in the 500m and silver in the 1500m.

Members of the Canadian national team for the 2018 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships in Tomaszow Mazoviecki, Poland:
 
WOMEN                                                            
-BLAIS, Danaé (Châteauguay, QC)
-CHARLES, Alyson (Montreal, Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough, QC)
-GAGNON, Claudia (Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC)
-SARAULT, Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.)

MEN
-GIRARD, Vincent Girard (Ville de Saguenay, QC)
-MARCEAU, Alexis (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)
-RUDY, Adrian Rudy (Toronto, ON)
-SCHUMANN, Marco (Saskatoon, SK)

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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For information:
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