10 Canadian skaters set to make their international debut next month in Inzell
CALGARY, ALBERTA – Speed Skating Canada announces today the provisional composition of its team for the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships, which will take place from February 10-12 in Inzell, Germany. The team will also participate in the ISU Junior World Cup Final, scheduled for February 5-6 in Inzell.
The Canadian team for these ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships will be comprised of ten skaters, representing four different provinces, all of whom will be making their international debut. Athletes were selected based on the results from the 2023 Canadian Junior Long Track Championships presented by Intact Insurance, which were held this past weekend in Quebec City.
On the women’s side, Winnipeg’s Sofia Bieber was crowned 2023 Canadian Junior Champion thanks to four top-5 results over the course of the weekend, most notably gold in the 500m and 1000m, along with silver in the 1500m. Maya Lueders (Calgary, Alta.) also finished the competition with three podiums, earning silver in the 500m and bronze in both the 1000m and 1500m.
The pair will be joined by double medalists Darby Beeson (Airdrie, Alta.), winner of 1500m gold and 3000m silver, and Cloé Jelonek (Antoine-de-Tilly, Que.), winner of 1000m silver and 500m bronze. Quebec City’s Émilie Greenfield, who was victorious in the 3000m, rounds out the squad.
On the men’s side, Yankun Zhao (152.044 points) narrowly edged out Jalen Doan (152.574 points) to bring home the Canadian Junior title. The Calgary duo both earned three medals – Zhao captured gold in the 1000m and silver in both the 500m and 1500m, while Doan won gold in the 500m and 1500m, and silver in the 1000m – but Zhao (13th) finished two positions ahead of Doan (15th) in Sunday’s 5000m, which helped him secure the top spot.
Joining them on the team are Luca Veeman (Saskatoon, Sask.), winner of 5000m silver and 1500m bronze, 5000m gold medalist Daniel Hall (Calgary, Alta.), and 1000m bronze medalist Max Poulin (Calgary, Alta.).
The provisional list of skaters selected to represent Canada at the ISU World Junior Speed Skating Championships in Inzell can be found below:
- Sofia Bieber (Winnipeg, Man.)
- Darby Beeson (Airdrie, Alta.)
- Cloé Jelonek (Antoine-de-Tilly, Que.)
- Maya Lueders (Calgary, Alta.)
- Émilie Greenfield (Quebec City, Que.)
- Yankun Zhao (Calgary, Alta.)
- Jalen Doan (Calgary, Alta.)
- Luca Veeman (Saskatoon, Sask.)
- Max Poulin (Calgary, Alta.)
- Daniel Hall (Calgary, Alta.)
The team will be accompanied by coaches William Dutton (Humboldt, Sask.) and Sabrina Lapointe (Chicoutimi, Que.), as well as physiotherapist John Roberts.
Next month’s event will mark Canada’s return to the ISU World Junior Championships stage after having skipped out on last year’s competition due to COVID-19 concerns in Europe. The pandemic also forced the cancellation of the 2021 edition of the competition.
The team nominations were made in accordance with relevant High Performance Bulletins following the 2023 Canadian Junior Long Track Championships presented by Intact Insurance, which were hosted January 5-6 in Quebec City. It is important to note that the composition of this team could potentially change should an appeal be submitted and accepted. Teams will not be made official until the appeal period has passed and a decision on those appeals – should any be received – has been made.