2014 Short Track Speed Skating World Championships. An & Shim crowned World Champions. Charles Hamelin & Valérie Maltais take bronze

Montréal, March 16th, 2014 - The very last individual race of the Short Track Speed Skating World Championships, the 3000m, determined the final cumulative individual standings to crown the 2014 World Champions before 4500 spectators at Maurice-Richard Arena: Russia’s Victor An and Korea’s Suk-Hee Shim.
 
At the very last turn, Victor An was barely ahead of Charles Hamelin, who was convinced he could overtake him at the finish line. Unfortunately, Hamelin tripped up and slid into the mats. 
 
“I gave it everything I had. In the 3000m, I wanted to save up as much energy as possible to battle it out at the finish. And I battled. It’s a shame to trip up on two blocks on the final turn. I wasn’t able to fight for Victor’s line – but there’s always a next time.”
 
Hamelin’s eight place finish in the 3000m was good enough for the Sainte-Julie, Québec athlete to claim the bronze medal in the overall world championship standings. Silver went to J.R. Celski, of the United States, who had skated to a full lap advantage over his adversaries in the opening moments of the three kilometer race.    
 
The winner of the women’s 3000m was also crowned world champion. In a race where Jorien Ter Mors of the Netherlands, Olympic long track gold medalist at 1500m in Sochi, attempted to take a full lap advantage on the pack from the start gun, the fight for the world title was happening well back, between three Korean skaters. Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Québec) earned the five sprint points awarded to the lead skater in the ninth lap, to finally finish third in the race. This result was good enough to earn her a bronze medal in the overall cumulative standings.
 
Korea’s Suk-Hee Shim took gold in the cumulative standings race, followed by her teammate Seung-Hi Park and Canada’s Valerie Maltais.
 
Another bronze medal for Maltais

Earlier in the day, Valérie Maltais was the only Canadian to reach the 1000m final. Behind a very staunch Korean barrier, the Saguenay native kept up a frenetic pace to cross the finish line in third place. Korean Suk-Hee Shim was the fastest, followed by her teammate Seung-Hi Park.
 
« The last day was a bit of a repeat of what had happened to me in 2012. In 2012, I was 13th before the last race and I finished second. Today, I was seventh and finished third. I am really happy with the way I stayed focus”, summarized Maltais.
 
Marianne St-Gelais was eliminated in the quarter finals, earning her the tenth spot. Marie-Ève Drolet took 25th spot, and did not advance past the first round of qualifications.
 
On the men’s side, Charles Hamelin was off to a good start, winning his qualifying races fairly handily. However, he was assessed a penalty while passing China’s Jingnan Shi in the semi-final, casting a shadow in his path to the world title.
 
 “It all played out in the 1000m. Even if I hadn’t been disqualified, I wouldn’t have made it past that round. I didn’t race very well. The 1000m really hurt me in my pursuit of the world championship title”, admitted a very disappointed Hamelin.
 
The two other Canadian skaters competing in the 1000m, Charle Cournoyer and Olivier Jean, finished 11th and 12th, respectively.
 
Relay

Fresh off their Olympic silver, the Canadian women took silver yet again in today’s 3000m relay. The quartet composed of Jessica Gregg, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais and Jessica Hewitt had an inauspicious start when Hewitt fell. However, they were able to make up the distance and skate to a third place finish. They were awarded the silver when Korea was disqualified. The Chinese team was crowned relay world champion and the Italians earned the bronze medal.  
 
On the men’s side, the Netherlands were crowned relay world champions. First to finish the race’s 5000 meters, the Dutch edged out their opponents in a very tight race. Korea took second, followed by Great Britain in third.