Canada earns 20 direct spots in final rounds at ISU World Cup Short Track in Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China, December 9, 2016 – The Canadian short track speed skating team qualified directly for 20 spots out of a possible total of 24 in the qualification rounds toward the final ones of the races scheduled at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage in Shanghai, China, as Canada is looking for nine individual medals.

Among the 12 skaters on the Canadian team, only Patrick Duffy of Oakville, ON, in Saturday's first 500m race, as well as Pascal Dion of Montreal, Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles borough, QC, Marie-Ève Drolet of Saguenay, Chicoutimi borough, QC, and Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., all in the second 500m event, will need to go through the repechage heats to try and join their teammates in the final rounds.

In the races slated for Saturday, every member of the Canadian team qualified directly into the final rounds except for Patrick Duffy, who will need to go through Saturday morning's repechage heats in the first 500m event after finishing second in his qualification heat on Friday.

Duffy is back on the World Cup circuit after missing the first two stages of the season, held in Calgary and Salt Lake City.

“It's good to be back and overall, it was a pretty good day,” said the 25-year-old skater.
“The 500m was quite tough, as was the 1500m, which was also quite fast. I'm still struggling a little bit to get back in the flow of international racing. But overall, it was pretty good. I'll need to remain focused over the weekend.”

Marianne St-Gelais and Kasandra Bradette of Saint-Félicien, QC, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC, Charles Hamelin of Saint-Julie, QC, and Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, all qualified for the quarterfinals of the first 500m of the weekend, while Marie-Ève Drolet, Jamie Macdonald, Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, Pascal Dion, and Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, all earned spots in the 1500m semifinals.

On Sunday, Pascal Dion, Marie-Ève Drolet and Jamie Macdonald will need to go through the repechage heats in hopes of qualifying for the quarterfinals in the second 500m event.

Their teammates François Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer and Kim Boutin will take part in the quarterfinals of the second 500m, slated for Sunday, while St-Gelais, Maltais, Bradette, Charles Hamelin, Duffy and Girard made it to the 1000m quarterfinals.
 
Charles Hamelin looking to bounce back
On the Canadian side, Marianne St-Gelais as well as François and Charles Hamelin all won their heats in both their respective individual events, to qualify directly for the final rounds.

Charles Hamelin, who has only earned one medal in two World Cups so far this season, senses that the tide is about to turn.

“Qualifying went well today. The feeling I had on the ice today wasn't the same I had at the first two World Cups. I thought I was more solid today. Everything went well. My confidence level is on the way up compared to the North American races. That's a good thing, not only for the World Cups, but also for the upcoming Canadian Championships, because the confidence needs to be there. I feel really confident about the next two days. I'm positive I can do better than a bronze medal, like the one I won in Salt Lake City,” said the veteran skater, who was third in the 500m on that occasion.

Charles Hamelin is one of four Canadian skaters looking to win two individual medals this weekend. The others are Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer and Marianne St-Gelais. For her part, Kim Boutin is aiming for a podium finish in the 1500m.
 
The men's relay eliminated
In the relay, the Canadian men's team was unable to qualify for the semifinals, finishing third in its qualification heat on Friday, behind South Korea and Japan.

“It was a good relay race from the start until almost to the finish,” said Samuel Girard, who skated Friday's relay race along with Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer and Patrick Duffy. “During the last few exchanges, it was one of our best yet this season. Everyone applied the race plan as they should have. At the end, there was a slip like it happened in Salt Lake City. We'll try to find why that occurred. The fact remains we were unlucky and we'll come back strong at the next World Cup, in South Korea.”

The women's relay, comprised of Kim Boutin, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais and Jamie Macdonald, finished second in its qualification heat, behind the Netherlands, to give Canada a spot in Saturday's semifinals.

In two World Cup stages so far this season, Canada is second in medal standings with 11, tied with the Netherlands. South Korea is first with 16 medals.

The repechage heats and final rounds for the first 500m and the 1500m, as well as the relay semifinals, are scheduled for Saturday.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m (1) W
Marianne St-Gelais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Kasandra Bradette: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Valérie Maltais: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday

500m (1) M
Charles Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Samuel Girard: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Patrick Duffy: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the repechage Saturday morning

500m (2) W
Kim Boutin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Marie-Ève Drolet: 3rd in the heats and will take part in the repechage Sunday morning
Jamie Macdonald: 3rd in the heats and will take part in the repechage Sunday morning

500m (2) H
François Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Pascal Dion: 3rd in the heats and will take part in the repechage Sunday morning

1500m W
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Jamie Macdonald: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Kim Boutin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday

1000m F
Marianne St-Gelais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Valérie Maltais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Kasandra Bradette: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

1000m M
Charles Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Patrick Duffy: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Samuel Girard: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

1500m W
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Jamie Macdonald: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Kim Boutin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday

1500m M
François Hamelin: 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
Charle Cournoyer: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday

Relay W
Canada: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
(Kim Boutin, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais, Jamie Macdonald)

Relay M
Canada: 3rd in the heats and eliminated
(Charle Cournoyer, Samuel Girard, Charles Hamelin, Patrick Duffy)

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 and Samsung, 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
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