Press Release

Canada to send 13 to Minsk for junior worlds

Eight entries hope to bring back hardware from Belarus

Katherine Bobak and Ian Beharry won three medals on the Junior Grand Prix circuit.
Katherine Bobak and Ian Beharry won three medals on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. (Deavers Photography)

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By Skate Canada
(02/24/2012) - Skate Canada will send eight entries for a total of 13 skaters to the 2012 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus, from Feb. 27 - March 4, 2012. Canada will have one entry in ladies, three entries in pairs and two entries in both men's and ice dance.

The 2012 Canadian junior champions, Katherine Bobak and Ian Beharry, will lead the way for Canada in the pairs category. In their first season competing together, they won silver at the Junior Grand Prix in Poland and gold in Estonia, and claimed silver at the Junior Grand Prix Final. The pair is coached by Kris Wirtz and Kristy Wirtz at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club.

Margaret Purdy, 16, Strathroy, Ontario, and Michael Marinaro, 19, Sarnia, Ontario, will also represent Canada in the pairs discipline. This season, they won bronze in Latvia and placed 10th in Austria. This will be their second time competing at this event, having placed eighth at the 2010 World Junior Figure Skating Championships. They are coached by Scott Rachuk and Alison Purkiss at the Competitive Skating Centre of Strathroy.

Rounding out the pairs entries are Hayleigh Bell, 15, Acton, Ontario, and Alistair Sylvester, 17, Stratford, Ontario, who will compete at this event for the first time. They are the 2012 Canadian champions in the novice category. They train out of the Mariposa School of Skating with coach Lee Barkell.

Liam Firus, 19, North Vancouver, British Columbia, will compete at this event for the second year in a row. Earlier this season, he won bronze at the Junior Grand Prix in Brisbane, Australia, and placed 11th in Austria. This is his fourth year on the junior circuit. He also finished sixth at the 2012 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the senior category. Firus is coached by Lorna Bauer at the Vancouver Skating Club.

Nam Nguyen, 13, Burnaby, British Columbia, will also represent Canada in men's. In his first season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, Nguyen won bronze in Romania and placed 12th in Latvia. Most recently, he finished seventh at the 2012 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the senior category. Nguyen is coached by Joanne McLeod at the B.C. Centre of Excellence.

Kaetlyn Osmond, 16, Marystown, Newfoundland, is the only entry for Canada in the ladies category. In January, Osmond won bronze in the senior category at the 2012 Canadian Figure Skating Championships. She has previously competed internationally on the Junior Grand Prix circuit in 2010, placing ninth in Japan and 10th in Czech Republic. She is coached by Ravi Walia at the Ice Palace FSC in Edmonton.

Ice dancers Nicole Orford, 19, Burnaby, B.C. and Thomas Williams, 20, Okotoks, Alberta, will look to improve on last's years eighth place finish at this event. This season, they won gold at the Junior Grand Prix in Brisbane, Australia, and placed sixth in Innsbruck, Austria. Orford and Williams also placed sixth at the 2012 Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the senior category. They are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe at the B.C. Centre of Excellence.

Ice dancers Andréanne Poulin, 16, L'Île-Bizard, Quebec, and Marc-André Servant, 20, Vaudreuil, Quebec, are the final entry for Canada at this event. They are the 2012 Canadian junior champions. In international competition this season, they placed sixth in Latvia. They are coached by Shawn Winter at the Pierrefonds Sportplexe 4 Glaces.