Bastille & St. Gelais win gold

Bastille and St. Gelais win gold in the 1,000 metres at the short track World Cup in the Netherlands

DORDRECHT, the Netherlands Guillaume Bastille and Marianne St. Gelais won gold today in their 1,000-metres finals at the Korean Air ISU World Cup in Dordrecht, in the Netherlands. For St. Gelais, of St. Félicien, Que., this was won her fourth gold medal of the season. It was Bastille’s first win this year, but the native of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., took silver in the 500 metres in October.

Audio (MP3): Bastille (French), Maltais and Drolet (French)

St. Gelais, who also won the 1,000 metres at the World Cup in Saguenay, Que., on Oct. 30, was first in a time of one minute and 32.086 seconds. Jorien Ter Mors of the Netherlands was second (1:32.148), followed by Quihong Liu of China in third (1:32.520). In the women’s 1,000 C final, Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., finished in third place for 11th place overall. Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., was fourth in her quarter-final heat, giving her 16th position.

Facing three Dutch in the final, Bastille edged hometown skater Sjinkie Knegt by 0.027 seconds, winning in a time of 1:31.172. Niels Kerstholt won the bronze medal. In the B final, Rémi Beaulieu of Alma, Que., finished third for an overall ranking of seventh, while Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta., won the C final for 10th place.

In the women’s 1,500-metre finals, Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterrière, Que., finished just of the podium in fourth (2:33.145) and fifth (2:33.208), respectively. American Lana Gehring won the gold medal in a time of 2:32.577. Ha-Ri Cho of Korea was second (2:32.898) and Kexin Fan of China was third (2:33.012).

Kasandra Bradette of St. Félicien, Que., finished in 20th place in the 1,500 metres. Placing second in the repechage round, she did not qualify for the semifinals.

Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., finished fifth in the men’s 1,500-metre final after being interfered with by Yoon-Gy Kwak of Korea. Skating in fourth position with the pack up to the 10th lap, Kwak tried to pass Jean, but knocked him off his skates. Jinkyu Noh of Korea won gold, followed by teammate Da Woon Sin with silver. Russian Semen Elistratov took the bronze medal.

After placing third in his 1,500-metre semifinal race, François-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que., skated to fourth place in the B final for a 10th overall ranking. Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., was eighth in his semifinal putting him in 22nd position.

In the women’s relay, Drolet, Maltais, St. Gelais and Truchon skated to second place in the semifinals, but contact with a Chinese skater in the second last lap penalized Canada, eliminating them from the final. Bastille, Beaulieu, Jean and Tremblay represented Canada in the men’s relay. In their semifinals, the Canadians finished second behind the Americans, but ahead of the Italians to move onto Saturday’s semifinals.

Sunday’s races will see the 500-metre and second 1,000-metre races, as well as the relay finals.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $39,000 (21 gold medals, 12 silver and six bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.