Speed Skating Canada is proud to announce the short track skaters nominated to represent Canada at the upcoming 2019 ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships, which will take place at the Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, Quebec from January 25-27.
The Canadian team for this prestigious international competition – which was previously hosted by Canada in Calgary (1995), Montreal (1999) and Sherbrooke (2009) – will feature the country’s best up-and-coming short track skaters, including seven that will be making their ISU World Junior Championships debut.
The Canadian women’s team is comprised of Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.), Claudia Heeney (Waterloo, Ont.), Hee Won Son (Calgary, Alta.) and Juliette Brindamour (Toronto, Ont.), while the men’s team includes Nicolas Perreault (Sherbrooke, Que), William Dandjinou (Verdun, Que.), Matej Pederson (Calgary, Alta.) and Félix Pigeon (Saint-Pie, Que.).
Sarault, the triple medalist and second ranked skater from last year’s ISU World Junior Championships in Poland, will lead this year’s squad. She was pre-qualified for the team thanks to her performances at this fall’s senior World Cups in Calgary and Salt Lake City, where she captured a silver medal in the 1500m and a bronze in the relay.
The rest of the skaters were selected based on their results at last month’s 2018 Canadian Junior Short Track Championships in Calgary.
Heeney and Perreault were crowned Canadian junior champions after collecting the most points in their two best distances, among their respective fields of 32 skaters.
Heeney, a long-time member of the K-W Sertoma Speed Skating Club, earned gold medals in the ladies 500m and 1000m, along with a bronze medal in the 1500m, to capture the overall ladies title.
Meanwhile, Perreault earned two gold medals of his own – in the men’s 1500m and 1000m – to take the top spot overall. The Sherbrooke native is part of a family with a rich history of speed skating success. His father Sylvain Perreault was a member of the national team in the 1980s, while his aunts Annie and Maryse Perreault have won Olympic and World Champion titles, respectively.
Son and Brindamour clinched the final two spots on the women’s side thanks to their respective performances at the Canadian Championships. Son, who has earned the title of top junior skater in Alberta each of the past three seasons, finished second in the 500m, third in the 1000m, and fourth in the 1500m. Brindamour, who is from Toronto but trains in Montreal, won the ladies 1500m and came fifth in the 1000m, to finish third in the standings.
On the men’s side, a pair of Quebec skaters in Dandjinou, who was first in the 500m and second in the 1500m, and Pigeon, who finished third in the 500m and fourth in the 1000m, will have the chance to compete in their home province. They will be joined by Alberta’s Pederson, who was second in both the 500m and 1000m.
In only a few weeks, these eight Canadians will compete at the World Championships on home ice in Montreal against the top junior aged skaters – all between 14 and 19 years of age – in the world.