A perfect day in qualifying for Canada at ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held in Germany

Dresden, Germany, February 3, 2017 – All 12 members of the Canadian Short Track Speed Skating team qualified for the finals rounds in both their individual events at this weekend's ISU World Cup held in Dresden, Germany, following Friday's qualification rounds.

The Canadian skaters showed they were in top form by coming up with the fastest times of the day in all the events, except for the men's 1500m and the relays.
 
On the women's side, Marie-Ève Drolet of Saguenay, QC, won her two qualifying heats as she is skating in both 1500m events slated for the weekend. She was celebrating her 35th birthday on Friday.
 
“I'm satisfied with how my day went. I skated well and I managed my stress level well also. I won my races in a good way, like I wanted to,” said Marie-Ève Drolet, who is looking to qualify for the A final in both her events, as well as to come up with one podium finish. “I felt good out there on the ice today and I'm confident that my goals are attainable.”
 
Drolet will be accompanied by Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, and Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, in the semifinals of the first 1500m event, set for Saturday, as well as by Boutin and Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, QC, in the semifinals of Sunday's second 1500m event. Like Drolet, Boutin has set a goal of taking part in both A finals in her events and winning one medal.
 
Valérie Maltais will also be in action in Saturday's 1000m quarterfinals, along with Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, and Jamie Macdonald from Fort St. James, B.C. Macdonald, who is looking to skate in the final rounds of both her events, has also qualified for Sunday's 500m quarterfinals, along with Bradette and St-Gelais.
 
St-Gelais, the 2017 Canadian senior champion, has a total of six individual medals in four World Cup stages so far this season. Her goal is to win a medal in each of her two events this weekend.
 
On the men's side, Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, the 2017 Canadian senior champion, started the weekend on the right foot by qualifying for Saturday's 1000m quarterfinals and Sunday's 1500m semifinals, both times by winning his qualification heat. His goal is to win two medals.
 
“I was expecting nothing less than two wins in those races because it was quite feasible,” noted Charle Cournoyer, who has two podium finishes so far this season. “As the World Championships are fast approaching, my strategies are getting better and better, and also getting more precise. I'm increasingly at ease competing in these distances.”

“My goal this weekend is to be up there on the podium in both my distances and I think it's possible. I would very much like to finish off the World Cup season on a good note,” said Cournoyer who, like Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard and Marianne St-Gelais, will return to Montreal next week and will not skate in the last World Cup stage of the season in Belarus, in order to finetune his preparation for the World Championships.
 
In Saturday's 1000m quarterfinals and in Sunday's 1500m semifinals, Cournoyer will be accompanied by François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, and Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, QC.
 
Bastille is back on the World Cup circuit for this first time since the sixth stage of the 2014-2015 season. He missed last season because he had to undergo a shoulder operation.
 
“My return to the World Cup circuit today went relatively well,” said Guillaume Bastille. “It was a bit of a different day compared to World Cups from past years; I was expecting a tougher day physically. It was a long day, but I only had two races and a relay. Things went well, and I hope that will continue all weekend long.”
 
Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, who is aiming to qualify for the A finals in both his events and to win one medal, will skate in Saturday's 1500m semifinals and in Sunday's 500m quarterfinals.
 
In Saturday's 1500m and Sunday's 500m, Charles Hamelin will be accompanied by Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, who will be looking to come up with two podium finishes, and by Pascal Dion of Montreal, QC.

“The week is going quite well so far,” said Charles Hamelin. “In the 1500m, I skated with good speed without really looking to do that, and I didn't think I had gone that fast until I saw the time at the end. That's a good sign for tomorrow.”
 
“In the 500m, I came up with today's fastest time. I have good legs going into the final rounds this weekend, and I hope to reach my goals. The ice is not as clean as it could be, though, so you have to make sure you stay focused and do your best.”
 
In the relay, Canada earned spots in Saturday's semifinals, both on the men's and women's side. Both relays won their heat in Friday's qualification round.
 
Marie-Ève Drolet, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais and Kasandra Bradette skated the women's relay Friday, as did Guillaume Bastille, Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer and Samuel Girard for the men's relay.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Kasandra Bradette: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Jamie Macdonald: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

500m W
Charles Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Samuel Girard: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Pascal Dion: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

1000m W
Marianne St-Gelais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Valérie Maltais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Jamie Macdonald: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday

1000m M
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
François Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Guillaume Bastille: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday

1500m (1) W
Kim Boutin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Kasandra Bradette: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday

1500m (2) W
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Sunday
Valérie Maltais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Kim Boutin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Sunday

1500m (1) M
Charles Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Samuel Girard: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Pascal Dion: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday

1500m (2) M
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Sunday
Guillaume Bastille: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Sunday
François Hamelin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Sunday

Relay W
Canada: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
(Marie-Ève Drolet, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais, Kasandra Bradette)

Relay M
Canada: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
(Guillaume Bastille, Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Samuel Girard)

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
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