Christopher Fiola (Montreal, QC) and Isabelle Weidemann (Ottawa, ON) finished the competition that counted for the single distance overall standings at the Long Track World Junior Championships, held until Sunday in Warsaw, Poland, both in eighth position.
In Fiola’s case, it was the highest-placed finish by a Canadian on the men’s side since the 2010 edition, when Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu won a bronze medal in overall standings.
“I’m really happy! I was aiming for a top-10 finish, so being eighth in the world is even better and I’m really proud,” said Fiola. “I think it’s a very good result for my first World Junior Championships and it motivates me even more for next year. And knowing that I had the best Canadian performance since 2010 is very encouraging. I haven’t reached my full potential, but I performed well.”
As for Weidemann, her performance ties that of Kate Hanly in 2012.
Saturday, Fiola, 18, took seventh place in the men’s 1000m with a time of one minute, 14 seconds and 25 hundredths, to finish right behind his teammate Alexandre Déry (Lévis, QC), sixth in 1:13.91. China’s Yang Fan won the race in 1:12.80.
Fiola, who is taking part in his first World Junior Championships, then finished 13th in the men’s 5000m (7:10.27), while Ben Donnelly (Oshawa, ON) was 11th (7:09.12). Sweden’s Nils van der Poel won the event in 6:46.57.
Donnelly, the 2015 Canadian junior champion, finished the competition in 10th place overall, which allowed Canada to have two male skaters among the top-10 in overall standings, a first since at least 2010.
Three Canadians in the women’s top-15
Isabelle Weidemann finished fourth in the women’s 3000m with a time of 4:28.55, approximately six seconds behind the winner, Melissa Wijfie of the Netherlands (4:22.58).
In the other women’s event of the day, Weidemann finished 17th in the 1000m (1:24.24) while Noémie Fiset (Québec, QC), the reigning national junior champion, was the top Canadian in this distance with a 13th place finish and a time of 1:23.69. Austria’s Vanessa Bittner was the fastest with a time of 1:19.73.
Fiset was 11th in overall standings while Maddison Pearman (Ponoka, AB) finished the competition in 14th position. Canada therefore placed three skaters in the top-15 for the first time since at least 2010.
In the team sprint event, the Canadian women’s team comprised of Fiset, Pearman and Juliette Wheler (Saskatoon, SK) earned fifth place with a time of 1:36.49, approximately three seconds behind the winners, South Korea.
In the men’s team sprint, a skater fell a few meters after the start and was unable to continue, which disqualified the Canadian trio. The Canadian team completed the distance with only two skaters and came up with the fourth best time of the day (1:26.18), 69 hundredths of a second away from the Russians, who won bronze. The rules stipulate, however, that a skater cannot complete more than one lap and Alexandre Déry skated two and Christopher Fiola, one, which eliminated Canada from contention. South Korea won the title in 1:24.22.
“I think we could have won a medal if we had been three to skate, but we still managed the fourth time with only two skaters. We’ll try to make it up tomorrow (Sunday) in the team pursuit,” said Fiola.
The team pursuit and the mass start races will be held on the last day of the World Junior Championships, Sunday.
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:
13. Noémie Fiset (1:23.69)
15. Maddison Pearman (1:23.90)
17. Isabelle Weidemann (1:24.24)
28. Juliette Wheler (1:26.65)
4. Isabelle Weidemann (4:28.55)
23. Noémie Fiset (4:47.11)
25. Maddison Pearman (4:47.67)
6. Alexandre Déry (1:13.91)
7. Christopher Fiola (1:14.25)
11. Alex Ruel-Garvey (1:14.63)
29. Ben Donnelly (1:16.39)
11. Ben Donnelly (7:09.12)
13. Christopher Fiola (7:10.27)
Team Sprint W
Canada: 5 (1:36.49)
(Noémie Fiset, Maddison Pearman, Juliette Wheler)
Team Sprint M
Canada: DQ (1:26.18)
(Alexandre Déry, Christopher Fiola, Alex Ruel-Garvey)
Final ranking W
8. Isabelle Weidemann
11. Noémie Fiset
14. Maddison Pearman
Final ranking M
8. Christopher Fiola
10. Ben Donnelly
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.
– 30 –
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Phone: 514 213-9897