Steven Dubois and Alyson Charles are top Canadians at World Junior Short Track Championships
Speed Skating Canada – Sofia, Bulgaria, January 31, 2016 – Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, QC, on the men’s side and Alyson Charles of Montreal (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough) on the women’s side were the top Canadians at the ISU World Junior Short Track Championships which ended on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria, as Dubois finished sixth in the men’s overall standings while Charles was ninth in the women’s overall standings.
On Sunday, Dubois came up with a fifth-place finish in the 1000m final, one day after winning Canada’s only medal at these 2016 World Championships, a bronze in Saturday’s 500m race.
“I would have liked to finish higher up than that. I had an opportunity to do it with a lap and a half to go, but I didn’t react quickly enough to take it. I should have been more aggressive!,” said Dubois.
By reaching the A final, Dubois earned a spot in the 1500 Super Final, which involved only the top six skaters in overall standings following the first three individual events. The sole Canadian representative in this race skated to a fourth-place result to end up sixth in final overall standings.
“If I would have won that race, I would have finished in the top three. But I’m still really happy with my weekend. My goal was to finish among the top six and to win an individual medal, which I did. It was a really great weekend and I learned a lot of useful things that I will be able to use in my next races in order to move up the rankings,” added Dubois, for who this was his last year of eligibility at the World Junior Championships.
Yellow card for Laoun in the semifinal
His teammate Maxime Laoun, for his part, was given a yellow card in the 1000m semifinal after trying to overtake Hungarian skater Shaoang Liu on the inside, which led to both skaters falling. The warning prevented him from taking part in the B final and caused him to lose points, and he finished the competition in 8th place overall at his last career World Junior Championships.
“With four laps to go, I tried to go by him and, unfortunately, it didn’t work out. I set it up well, however, it’s just that Shaoang Liu closed the door and there was contact. I should have slowed down but it was already too late,” explained Laoun. “I was confident today that I would win a medal but I was too aggressive. I should have waited a few more laps…
“It’s a disappointing way to end the competition but, overall, I’m happy with everything I did. There’s no doubt I would have liked to finish things up with a medal, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of performance after the way I skated at the Canadian Senior Championships two weeks ago. Still, these World Junior Championships have been my most successful, and by far.”
Charles the top Canadian woman
On the women’s side, Alyson Charles was Canada’s top skater over the competition as she finsihed ninth in overall standings.
In Sunday’s 1000m, Charles, who was skating for the second time at the World Junior Championships and will again be eligible next year, was eliminated in the quarterfinal round.
“I’m really happy with a ninth place overall. Considering this was my first experience racing in individual distances, I’m proud of myself,” said Alyson Charles.
“I made a few small mistakes today, for instance by not overtaking at the right times. But I can only learn from those mistakes and I will work hard in training to improve.”
The Canadian junior champion title holder on the women’s side, Genève Bélanger, was eliminated from the 1000m event in the elimination round and ended up 28th in overall standings as she was taking part in her fourth career World Junior Championships.
The 2015-2016 Canadian junior champion on the men’s side, Marc-Olivier Lemay of Montreal (Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles borough) and national development team skater Danaé Blais of Châteauguay, QC, who were both eliminated in Friday’s 1000m preliminary round, respectively took 13th and 22nd place in each of their overall standings.
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS:
Overall ranking M
–Steven Dubois: 6
–Maxime Laoun: 8
–Marc-Olivier Lemay: 13
Overall ranking W
–Alyson Charles: 9
–Danaé Blais: 22
–Genève Bélanger: 28
1500m Super Final
–Steven Dubois: 4
–Steven Dubois: 5 in the A final (final ranking: 5)
–Maxime Laoun: yellow card in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 86)
–Marc-Olivier Lemay: 3rd in the prelims and eliminated (final ranking: 37)
–Alyson Charles: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 10)
–Genève Bélanger: 3rd in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 17)
–Danaé Blais: 4th in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 32)
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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 14,000 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.
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