There’s been a change in the ranks of Canada’s track squad for the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Australia, happening this April. The announcement comes via a joint statement issued by Cycling Canada and Commonwealth Games Canada, released on Friday, Feb. 16.
The shake-up in Canada’s representation at the Common Wealth Games involves the team’s efforts in track sprint events.
According to the statement, Kelowna, B.C.’s Tegan Cochrane has declined her nomination, citing personal reasons. In her place will be 19-year-old Lauriane Genest of Levis, Que., who will join Amelia Walsh of Ayr, Ont. in team sprint, keirin and sprint competition in Brisbane.
Addressing the change-up, Kris Westwood, Canada’s team leader for cycling, remarked on what Genest brings to the squad — in particular, what having the young athlete on the team means for the future of the discipline in Canada.
“It is very exciting to see such a young athlete make it to the Games,” Westwood said. “Lauriane is only 19 and she has been part of our program for less than a year, but her progression to the international level has been remarkable.”
“It’s a great sign for the future of track sprinting in Canada,” Westwood added.
For the young Quebec athlete, 2017, in particular, was a tremendous season of success on the boards. At that year’s national track championships, Genest took first in the 500 metre and team sprint events, as well as second in keirin and sprint, all while facing an elite field of national competition. The previous year, Genest took third in the 500 metre track event of that year’s national championships, and claimed the same success at the 2016 Milton International Challenge, also in the 500 metre sprint competition.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane kick off on April 4, and run through to April 18.