Team Canada named for 2012 World Junior Short Track Championship

Team Canada named for 2012 World Junior Short Track Championship

OTTAWA – Speed Skating Canada (SSC) and its short track high performance committee announced today the men’s and women’s team set to represent Canada at the 2012 World Junior Short Track Championship in Melbourne, Australia, from Friday, Feb. 24 to Sunday, Feb. 26.

Following the Canadian Junior Championship and confirmation by the short track high performance committee, the Canadian junior men’s team is comprised of Yoan Gauthier of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., Montreal’s David Goulet, Jean-Christophe Marando of Longueuil, Que., and Quebec City’s Alexandre St. Jean. The women will be represented by Genève Bélanger of Montreal, Audrey Phaneuf from Boucherville, Que., Courtney Shmyr from Langley, B.C., and Léa Thibault from Laval, Que.

“First off, congratulations to these junior athletes who performed remarkably well during the recent Canadian Junior Championship,” said Yves Hamelin, SSC’s short track program director. “This selection competition helped in their preparations towards the upcoming world championship and their path to high performance short track speed skating.”

The final rankings from the Canadian Junior Championship, held at the Olympic Oval in Calgary from Dec. 3-4, served as the selection competition for the world championship in determining Canada’s top four junior men and four junior women. One of the spots was reserved for St. Jean. He was pre-selected for the world junior squad from his fall World Cup selections results.

The world championship will feature the following races: 500 metres, 1,000 metres, 1,500 metres, the Super 1,500 metres, and 3,000-metre relays. For the Super 1,500 metres, the skaters are ranked in heats from total points from the first three races.

With the exception of Genève Bélanger, who does not meet the minimum age requirement for a senior championship, the men’s and women’s junior team will compete at the 2012 Canadian Open Championship in Saguenay, Que., from Friday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Jan. 15.

The men’s national junior team:

Alexandre St. Jean from Quebec City
Born May 10, 1993; 2011-12 club: CPV Montréal-International and National development team
2011-12 season: He competed at his first career World Cups in Japan and China in early December. At the fall national team selections in September, he placed eighth for best two races and total points, thereby receiving a pre-selection for the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Yoan Gauthier from Rivière-du-Loup, Que.
Born Oct. 3, 1993; 2011-12 club: CPV Montréal-International
2011-12 season: He finished first overall in total points (3,482) at the Canadian Junior Championship. He was first in the 500 metres and the 1,000 metres, third in the first 1,500 metres and second in the Super 1,500 metres. He was ranked tied for third going into the Canadian championship.

David Goulet from Montreal
Born April 18, 1994; 2011-12 club: CPV Montréal-International
2011-12 season: He finished second overall in total points (2,925) at the Canadian Junior Championship. He was fifth in the 500 metres, third in the 1,000 metres, second in the first 1,500 metres and first in the Super 1,500 metres. He was ranked tied for third going into the Canadian championship.

Jean-Christophe Marando from Longueuil, Que.
Born Sept. 30, 1992; 2011-12 club: CPV Montréal Gadbois
2011-12 season: He finished third overall in total points (2,841) at the Canadian Junior Championship. He was second in the 500 metres and the 1,000 metres, fourth in the first 1,500 metres and third in the Super 1,500 metres. He was ranked eighth going into the Canadian championship.

The women’s national junior team:

Courtney Shmyr from Langley, B.C.
Born Aug. 21, 1992; 2011-12 club: Langley Blades Speed Skating Club
2011-12 season: She finished first overall in total points (3,482) at the Canadian Junior Championship. She was first in the 500 metres, third in the 1,000 metres, second in the first 1,500 metres and first in the Super 1,500 metres. She was ranked first going into the Canadian championship. At the fall national team selections in September, she placed 13th for best two races and total points. She had her best two-race ranking in the 500 metres – ninth.

Léa Thibault from Laval, Que.
Born Sept. 29, 1993; 2011-12 club: CPV Montréal-International
2011-12 season: She finished second overall in total points (2,927) at the Canadian Junior Championship. She was second in the 500 metres, first in the 1,000 metres, seventh in the first 1,500 metres and second in the Super 1,500 metres. She was ranked fifth going into the Canadian championship. At the fall national team selections in September, she placed 14th for best two races and total points. She had her best two-race ranking in the 1,000 metres – 10th.

Audrey Phaneuf from Boucherville, Que.
Born March 24, 1996; 2011-12 club: CPV Montréal-International
2011-12 season: She finished third overall in total points (2,245) at the Canadian Junior Championship. She was fourth in the 500 metres, second in the 1,000 metres, fifth in the first 1,500 metres and Super 1,500 metres. She was ranked 12th going into the Canadian championship.

Genève Bélanger from Montreal
Born Feb. 28, 1997; 2011-12 club: CPV St. Michel (Montreal)
2011-12 season: She finished fourth overall in total points (1,881) at the Canadian Junior Championship. She was third in the 500 metres, fifth in the 1,000 metres, 11th in the first 1,500 metres and third in the Super 1,500 metres. She was ranked 14th going into the Canadian championship.