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Donnelly & McCluskey to represent Canada at 2016 ISU World Junior Championships

Oval #WreckingCrew Coach Todd McClements with skater and #WreckingCrew member Ben Donnelly

Speed Skating Canada announces its team for the 2016 ISU World Junior Long Track Championships to be held March 11-13 in Changchun, China

Calgary, AB – Speed Skating Canada has announced the eight athletes who will represent the country at the ISU World Junior Long Track Championships, March 11-13, in Changchun, China.  Amoung them; Calgary Oval coached Ben Donnelly and Abigail McCluskey.

Donnelly, a native of Oshawa, ON and the 2015 Canadian Junior Champion, gained an automatic bid in this year's World Junior Championships by qualifying for the ISU Senior World Cup #5, held January 29-31, in Stavanger, Norway, and the Canadian Single Distance Championships, held January 3-6. In Norway, Donnelly actually qualified for the World Single Distance Championships and won a bronze medal in the men’s team pursuit event with Ted-Jan Bloemen and Jordan Belchos.

At the World Junior Championships in China, Donnelly will take part in the allround competition which one champion will be crowned for each distance and following the overall ranking including the combined performances in the 500m, 1000m, 1500m, women’s 3000m or men’s 5000m and mass start.

McCluskey, coached by Oval Coach Crispin Parkinson, qualified at the last Canadian Junior Long Track Championships, held February 5-7 in Winnipeg.  There she won a silver medal in each of the events, except in the mass start and also won the gold medal in the women’s 3000m. Both Donnelly and McCluskey were recipients of 2015-16 Intact Insurance Olympic Oval bursaries.

Muncef Ouardi and Donnelly's Oval Coach Todd McClements and will be the Canadian team coaches.

Donnelly and McCluskey will be joined by Véronique Déry of Lévis (Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Est (Saint-Jean-Chrysostome) borough), QC, Christopher Fiola of Montréal, (Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough), QC, Béatrice Lamarche of Quebec City (Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough), QC, Tyson Langelaar of Winnipeg, MB, Antoine Roger of Quebec City (Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough), QC, and Gabrielle Sanson of Moose Jaw, SK.

Donnelly and Fiola will lead the team as they will take part in their second consecutive World Junior Championships. Last year, in Warsaw, Poland, Fiola was the best Canadian with an eighth position overall finish while Donnelly took the tenth spot. Isabelle Weidemann took the fourth place in the 3000m, as the men’s team pursuit including Fiola, Donnelly and Alexandre Déry.

Sanson, Déry, Roger and Langelaar will be in action in the sprint competition and will only take part in the 500m and 1000m events.
Déry and Sanson respectively took the third and fourth spots in the Canadian Junior Championships women’s overall ranking. Déry finished fourth in the 500m and in the 1000m, while Sanson took the seventh rank in the 500m and won a bronze medal in the 1000m.

On the men’s side, Langelaar also won a bronze medal in the 1000m and finished fifth in the 5000m. He also won silver medals in both the 1500m and 5000m.

Skaters for the team sprint and pursuit events, who will already be part of the Junior National Team, will be announced during the competition.

Béatrice Lamarche and Christopher Fiola: Canadian Junior Champions
Canadian Junior Champions crowned following the National Junior Championships, Béatrice Lamarche and Christopher Fiola, as well as Abigail McCluskey, second in the women’s overall ranking in this competition, will also take part in the allround format of the competition in China.

Lamarche and Fiola swept all the events at the 2016 Canadian Junior Long Track Championships, except the women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m where they respectively took the second and third positions.

Antoine Roger won a silver medal in the 500m and 1000m.
Competitions at the ISU World Junior Long Track Championships will start Friday, March 11, with the 500m and 1500m events, followed, Saturday, March 12, with the 1000m, women’s 3000m and men’s 5000m and team sprint events. The event will end Sunday, March 13, with the team pursuit and mass start events.

Members of the Canadian Team at the 2016 ISU World Junior Long Track Championships

WOMEN                                                               
-DÉRY, Véronique (Lévis, Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Est - Saint-Jean-Chrysostome borough, QC) - 500m, 1000m
-LAMARCHE, Béatrice (Québec, Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough, QC) - 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m, Mass Start
-McCLUSKEY, Abigail (Penticton, B.C.) - 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, Mass Start
-SANSON, Gabrielle (Moose Jaw, SK) - 500m, 1000m

MEN
-DONNELLY, Ben (Oshawa, ON) – 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, Mass Start
-FIOLA, Christopher (Montreal, Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, QC) – 500m, 1000m, 1500m, 5000m, Mass Start
-LANGELAAR, Tyson (Winnipeg, MB) – 500m, 1000m
-ROGER, Antoine (Quebec City, Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge borough, QC) – 500m, 1000m

More details are available at Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.

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