It was a hugely successful weekend for the Canadian long track team at the ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland, where six athletes captured an impressive seventeen medals in the neo-senior competition.
Gaining international competition experience is an integral part of a high-performance athlete’s development plan and Canada’s skaters – all aged 19 to 22 as required by the International Skating Union for neo-senior events – certainly did just that in Poland.
Leading the way for the Canadians were Abigail McCluskey of Penticton, BC and Québec City’s Béatrice Lamarche, who each earned five medals throughout the weekend of competition. Noémie Fiset, also of Québec City, rounded out the first-place ladies’ sprint team and earned one individual medal.
Lamarche, the reigning World Junior Champion in the mass start, executed another golden performance in Poland. “I was very happy with my result,” she said after the race. “I definitely had the drive to win, even with my gold medal from last year.” She added another two golds and two silver to her medal tally over the course of the weekend.
Competing in the first World Cup event of her career, McCluskey impressed with two gold, one silver and two bronze medals. “I’m really happy with how the weekend went,” she emphasized. “I started off a bit shaky in the 1000m, but the team was so supportive, and I brought it back together for my next races.”
On the men’s side, Winnipeg’s Tyson Langelaar earned two gold and two silver medals in individual racing. His teammates Jake Weidemann of Ottawa and Hayden Mayeur of Toronto skated to their own podium finishes – two for Weidemann and one for Mayeur.
Langelaar highlighted the difference training with world-class Canadian skaters like Ted-Jan Bloemen and Jordan Belchos has made to his approach. “It has been beneficial experiencing how they perform off the ice,” he explained. “They are very professional and constantly working to perfect their sport, so I’m trying to let that rub off on me! It’s definitely helping me perform to the best of my abilities during my races.”
Mayeur was pleased with his third-place result in the mass start. “It’s probably some of the best skating Tyson [Langelaar] and I have done as a pair this season,” he explained. “Getting on the podium for the first time at an ISU event is eye-opening and definitely makes me look forward to the future.”
A full list of medals won by the Canadians can be found below.
- GOLD in the Ladies’ Team Sprint (Fiset, Lamarche and McCluskey)
- GOLD for Lamarche in the Ladies’ 1500m and the Ladies’ Mass Start
- GOLD for Langelaar in the Men’s 1000m and the Men’s 1500m
- GOLD for McCluskey in the Ladies’ 3000m
- GOLD for Weidemann in the Men’s 3000m
- SILVER for Lamarche in the Ladies’ 1000m and the Ladies’ 3000m
- SILVER for Langelaar in the Men’s 3000m and the Men’s Mass Start
- SILVER for McCluskey in the Ladies’ 1500m
- BRONZE for Fiset in the Ladies’ 500m
- BRONZE for Mayeur in the Men’s Mass Start
- BRONZE for McCluskey in the Ladies’ 1000m and the Ladies’ Mass Start
- BRONZE for Weidemann in the Men’s 1500m