Florence Brunelle, Ann-Sophie Bachand reach 500m podium at World Junior Championships
GDANSK, POLAND – It was a double-medal day for Canada at ISU World Junior Short Track Championships in Poland, with Florence Brunelle and Ann-Sophie Bachand winning gold and silver in the women’s 500m.
Building off her Olympic debut last month in Beijing, Brunelle was the fastest skater in Saturday’s 500m, posting a time of 44.473 to win gold. It was the third career medal at the World Junior Championships for the 18-year old from Trois-Rivières, Que., who previously won silver in both the 500m and 1500m at the 2020 edition of the competition.
“It was a good race where I just did what I had to do. I’m so happy to be back on the podium but espically because I won gold this time. It was my goal since the last World Juniors and it feels really good to have accomplish it. And I’m so happy to share the podium with Ann-Sophie. I’m really proud of her and how we both bounced back after our 1500m final, where she fell because of me.” – Florence Brunelle
Finishing just behind Brunelle in the distance was 17-year old teammate Bachand, whose time of 44.559 helped her earn her first ever international medal. The Canadian pair were joined on the podium but Dutch skater Michelle Velzeboer (44.659).
“Right now I am at a loss for words! I’m super happy, but above all proud of myself and the team around me. I exceeded all the expectations I had and that encourages me for the future. Florence is someone I have known for a long time and being able to share this podium with her makes me very happy.” – Ann-Sophie Bachand
The double-podium performance in the 500m helped ease the pain from a disappointing 1500m final earlier in the day.
In the A Final for that distance, Brunelle made contact with Bachand during a battle for second place. Despite crossing the finish line in silver medal position, Brunelle was penalized for the incident and disqualified, while Bachand was relegated to seventh as a result of the ensuing fall.
On the men’s side, Thomas Simpkin was the top ranked skater on Saturday, reaching the A Final of the 1500m and finishing sixth (2:22.813). Teammate Samuel Green earned a fifth-place result in the B Final of that same distance, while Samuel Bureau and Alexandre Migner both took part in the 500m B Final, finishing second and fourth, respectively.
The World Junior Short Track Championships in Poland conclude Sunday, when medals will be awarded in the 1000m and men’s and women’s 3000m relays. The races will be live streamed on the ISU YouTube channel.
- Florence Brunelle: 1st in 500m; 8th in 1500m
- Ann-Sophie Bachand: 2nd in 500m; 7th in 1500m
- Qi Miao: 6th in 500m; 45th in 1500m
- Thomas Simpkin: 6th in 1500m
- Samuel Green: 13th in 1500m
- Samuel Bureau: 7th in 500m
- Alexandre Migner: 9th in 500m
Speed Skating Canada