Canada qualifies six other spots in final rounds at ISU World Cup Short Track stage in Seoul

Seoul, South Korea, November 17, 2017 – The Canadian provisional Olympic team in short track speed skating qualified five spots out of the six available for the final rounds of the 1000m event in addition to qualifying for the women’s relay semifinals, Friday, on the second day of qualifying at the fourth and last ISU World Cup stage of the season, held until Sunday in Seoul, South Korea.

Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC and Charle Cournoyer from Boucherville, QC all earned spots in the 1000m quarterfinals, to be held Sunday, as did Kim Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC and Jamie Macdonald from Fort St. James, B.C., on the women's side.

“My approach for this week's races has been a little different, and it's been working out well,” said Samuel Girard, who qualified Thursday for the 500m and 1500m final rounds slated for Saturday. “I've come back to the approach I had at the Dordrecht World Cup. The goal isn't so much to win medals, but to have the right sensations when I race, and to build on that towards the Olympic Games, where getting on the podium is the goal. When you get to the Olympics, the memory you have of your last race is important, because those are the sensations that you refer to.”

Samuel Girard did not make it on the podium last week at the World Cup in China, but he won two medals in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, during the second World Cup stage, as he collected gold in the 500m and silver in the 1000m.

Canada's other athlete skating Friday, Valérie Maltais from Saguenay, QC, was penalized in the qualification round and therefore eliminated.

Relay: the women qualify, the men eliminated
In the relay, where Canada qualified for the 2018 Olympic Games last week in Shanghai, both on the men's and women's side, the women's team qualified for Saturday's semifinals in Seoul while the men's squad had to settle for third place in its heat because a skater fell, and was eliminated.

The women's relay, comprised of Marianne St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, Valérie Maltais and Jamie MacDonald, won its heat on Friday.

On the men's side, the skaters on the ice Friday were Samuel Girard, Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer and François Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC.

“Those things happen, falls are part of sports,” said Girard. “We would have liked to continue competing here in Seoul to train a little more together and against the other teams, but now we just need to go back to Montreal to train there and find those great sensations we had during the first three World Cups.”

The men's relay qualified for the PyeongChang Games after winning two gold medals and one bronze over the first three World Cup stages this season. The women's relay has earned a silver medal and a bronze so far.

The 1000m final rounds will take place on Sunday. Saturday's schedule includes the 500m and 1500m final rounds, as well as the relay semifinals.

More details are available on Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

1000m W
Kim Boutin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Jamie Macdonald: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Valérie Maltais: penalty in the heats and eliminated

1000m M
Charles Hamelin: 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
Charle Cournoyer: 3rd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday (one of four fastest third)

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

Relay M
Canada: 3rd in the heats and eliminated
(Samuel Girard, Charles Hamelin, François Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer)
 
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

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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