Canada goes 1-2 in men's 1000m & collects a total of five medals on last day of Montreal's ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating

Charles Hamelin and Samuel Girard finished 1-2 in the men's 1000m to help Canada collect a total of five medals, Sunday, on the last day of the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating held at Montreal's Maurice-Richard Arena.

Marianne St-Gelais also contributed to the total by winning the women's 500m and helping the Canadian women's relay collect silver, while Charle Cournoyer picked up a silver medal in the men's 500m.

Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Qc) and Samuel Girard (Ferland-et-Boilleau, Qc) respectively earned gold and silver in the 1000m to finish 1-2 ahead of Russia's Semen Elistratov.

“I wanted to show that I was able to bounce back, that I was the strongest skater on the ice,” said Charles Hamelin, who lost a chance to win a medal in Saturday's 1500 due to a fall. “I knew it was Sam who was behind me because I kept hearing the PA announcer saying it, so I knew I had a buffer zone. But it didn't matter to me who would finish first, him or me, as long as we went 1-2… We wanted to show that Canada is in the game, that we can win medals, and that our young guns are coming!”

It was Girard's first-ever career individual medal at a World Cup. He made his debut on the circuit last season.

“To win my first-ever medal in front of my home crowd and my family, and with Charles in the final with me on top of that, there's nothing better than that,” said Girard, age 19. “I knew Charles would be the one driving the train, I was content to follow and I was concentrating on not letting anybody overtake us.

“Finishing second for my first career medal, I'm fine with that, it's super. Maybe later I'll be able to beat Charles, but for now, second place, it suits me just fine.”

Charles Hamelin says he had a good time celebrating his medal with a teammate.

“I had flashbacks from the Vancouver Games, when I won gold (in the 500m) and François-Louis (Tremblay) won bronze, and he was up there on the podium with me,” he pointed out. “It had been a while since that had last happened, but it was fun to celebrate with a teammate on the ice, in front of our fans.”

Special medals for St-Gelais and Cournoyer
The medals won by Marianne St-Gelais (Saint-Félicien, Qc) and Charle Cournoyer (Boucherville, Qc) had a special feeling to them. For St-Gelais, it was her first gold in a 500m since October 2011, when she won the women's 500m at the World Cup held in Saguenay, Quebec. And for Cournoyer, who won bronze in the 500m at the 2014 Olympic Games, this was his third career medal at a World Cup, but his first in a 500m event.

St-Gelais won Sunday's 500m in 43.222, finishing ahead of Poland's Natalia Maliszewska (43.532) and Russia's Sofia Prosvirnova (55.171). And along with Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Qc), Kasandra Bradette (Saint-Félicien, Qc) and Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, Qc), she helped the Canadian women's relay pick up second place in 4:12.315, behind South Korea (4:11.428).

Jamie MacDonald (Fort St. James, B.C.) who, along with Audrey Phaneuf (Saint-Hyacinthe, Qc), skated in the relay earlier this weekend, won her first career medal at a World Cup as she was making her debut on the circuit this weekend.

St-Gelais won her second and third medals of the weekend, after she collected silver in Saturday's 1000m.

“I'm proud of what I've accomplished because, yes, I won medals, but I also did some good things. I was able to overtake other skaters in ways that I was unable to do in the past, so that's what is most encouraging,” said St-Gelais. “We worked hard in training, I was confident about what coach Frédéric Blackburn asked me to do.”

“Races like the one I raced today, I know I would have won regardless of what would have happened, if other skaters had fallen or not. Because I was confident, I was solid. I was on top of my game technically and tactically, I was really able to control all that until the end,” added St-Gelais.

Cournoyer skated the 500m final in 41.193, to finish behind China's Wu Dajing (41.133) and ahead of South Korea's Park Se Yeong (41.241). The silver medal came after a tough 2014-2015 season, where he had trouble coming back to top form after going through a shoulder operation and suffering a foot fracture.

“It's a great feeling. I had a tough year last year, but I really came back strong in training this summer, I really trained well, and we saw what the result was in my races today,” said Cournoyer. “I was able to perform well.”

“To start the season with a medal, it's always very motivating. I look forward to how things will develop in the next World Cups. It's good to start strong, but I can expect to become even stronger as the season goes on.”

Seven medals for the weekend
The Canadian team therefore won a total of seven medals at this first stage of the 2015-2016 World Cup season. The weekend's other medal was won by Kim Boutin, who ended up second in Saturday's 1500m. Boutin was fifth in Sunday's 1000m.

The seven medals tie Canada's total at last season's last World Cup stage, in Erzurum, Turkey. Canada had its best weekend of the 2014-2015 World Cup season at the Shanghai stage in mid-December, winning eight medals.

“Even better than the medals, we really skated well this weekend,” said St-Gelais. “Some of our skaters fell and some were disqualified, but it wasn't necessarily their fault. We're a really strong team at the present time, we just need to get back to the top. By coming up with these podiums, this will give us confidence for the rest of the season.”

The semifinals in several distances gave way to a lot of action, with several penalties being awarded. Charles Hamelin ended being on the right side of the decisions, as he was awarded a spot in the 1000m A final, but penalties also led to the disqualification of François Hamelin in the men's 500m masculin and Valérie Maltais in the women's 1000m.

Athletes on the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup circuit will now travel to Toronto, where the second stage of the 2015-16 season will take place, November 6-8.

Tickets and the complete schedule for the races to be held during the three-day competition are available at www.speedskating.ca/toronto2015.

About the 2015 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Montreal
The 2015 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Montreal featured the best short track speed skaters in the world as part of the first stage of the 2015-2016 season. There will be six World Cups stages overall around the world.

The organizing committee for the 2015 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Montreal would like to thank its partners and sponsors:

Corporate partners: Desjardins, Hôtel Universel and Li-Ning
Government partners: Government of Canada, Gouvernement du Québec, Ville de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal and Olympic Park
Sports partners: ISU, Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec and Speed Skating Canada
Philanthropic partners: Heart & Stroke Foundation and Children's Wish Foundation
Media partners: 91.9 Sport radio station and 24 Heures newspaper

More details are available at the event's web site at http://www.coupedumondemtl.ca/eng/.

TODAY'S CANADIAN RESULTS:

1000m (2) M
-Charles Hamelin: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
-Samuel Girard: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
-Patrick Duffy: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 10)

500m W
-Marianne St-Gelais: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
-Kasandra Bradette: penalty in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 16)
-Jamie MacDonald: penalty in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 32)

500m M
-Charle Cournoyer: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
-François Hamelin: penalty in the semi-finals and eliminated (final ranking: 7)
-Sasha (Alexander) Fathoullin: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 12)

Relay W
Canada: silver medal
(Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette, Jamie MacDonald, Audrey Phaneuf, Kim Boutin)

1000m (2) W
-Kim Boutin: 5th in the A Final (final ranking: 5)
-Valérie Maltais: penalty in the semi-finals and eliminated (final ranking: 10)
-Audrey Phaneuf: 5th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 16)

Relay M
Canada: 1st in the B Final (final ranking: 5)
(Charles Hamelin, Patrick Duffy, Sasha (Alexander) Fathoullin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer, François Hamelin)

More details available on Speed Skating Canada's web site at 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
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC