Canada wins five medals, including two gold, at ISU World Cup Short Track stage in the Netherlands

Dordrecht, Netherlands, October 7, 2017 – Canada won five medals, Saturday, at the ISU World Cup Short Track stage to be held until Sunday in Dordrecht, Netherlands. Marianne St-Gelais and Samuel Girard each won gold and Kim Boutin came up with silver in the 500m, while Valérie Maltais earned silver and Charles Hamelin, bronze, in the 1500m event.
 
In the women's 500m, St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, and Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC, respectively took first and second place, as they had done in the previous round, the semifinals, where they were skating in the same heat. In the final, Martina Valcepina (ITA) earned bronze.
 
“I felt good, and I've felt good ever since qualifying started on Thursday,” said St-Gelais, who therefore came up with her first podium finish this season in an individual event, after skating only in one event last week in Hungary during the first stage of the World Cup.

“After missing the Olympic trials, the last few weeks were hard on me physically and mentally, but we also made some important decisions, so this medal feels good because it shows that we made the right decisions and that we made the right adjustments,” added St-Gelais.
 
For Boutin, this is her first career medal in the 500m distance at the World Cup level. Her best result so far had been a fourth-place finish in the B final at the Montreal stage in the fall of 2014.
 
“That was my first A final and my first medal, so that makes for a very good day! This is a distance in which I haven't staked very often at the World Cup level, so it bodes well for the upcoming Olympics,” said Boutin, who has now won three individual medals in four events so far in this World Cup season, as she collected two silver medals in Hungary last weekend.
 
On the men's side, Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, also tallied his first individual medal on the World Cup circuit this season. On the way to gold in Saturday's 500m, he finished ahead of Sjinkie Knegt (NED, silver) and Dae Heon Hwang (KOR, bronze).
 
“The 500m is the sprint event, things go quite fast, so it's a nice medal to win,” said Girard. “I’m very happy to be back on the podium for an individual event, especially after changing my strategy a little bit compared to last week, which allowed things to go more smoothly technically. It bodes well for what's coming up.”
 
Valérie Maltais from Saguenay, QC, and Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, also registered firsts as they both earned their first medal of the 2017-2018 season, this time in the 1500m.
 
In the women's 1500m, Maltais won silver, while Boutin finished fifth and Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., was sixth. Two South Koreans skated to a podium finish, i.e. Min Jeong Choi (gold) and Suk Hee Shim (bronze).

“I'm very happy with this silver medal, which breaks the wall that the Koreans had set in the past, blocking us from a spot on the podium,” said Maltais. “And I was especially happy to race all the way to the final along with other Canadian skaters. It shows to what extent we've worked well as a team, after taking on a different approach in the 1500m for this season. Over the last two weeks, I've raced in a different way that I had done in the past in the 1500m distance, and it's good to see that the results have come so fast.”
 
In the men's 1500m, Charles Hamelin earned bronze, behind Dae Heon Hwang (KOR, gold) and Shaolin Sandor Liu (HUN, silver). Samuel Girard initially finished at the foot of the podium, in fourth spot, but he was issued a penalty that pushed him back to sixth and last place.
 
“It was a lively race, with lots of overtaking and bumping around, and I tried to be as alert as I could. Towards the end of the race, I wasn't in a very good position to go get a medal, but I knew there would be some action behind me, and I was able to find the right angle to overtake at the right moment, and I was able to go get third place,” said Hamelin, who in his other distance was penalized in the 500m quarterfinals, and therefore was eliminated at that stage of the event.
 
Both relay teams go on to A final
In the women's relay, Canada qualified for the A final after Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, Macdonald, Maltais and St-Gelais finished second in their semifinal heat on Saturday, behind South Korea. The two countries will face each other once again on Sunday in a final that will also include China and the Netherlands.
 
In the men's relay, Charle Cournoyer from Boucherville, QC, Girard, Charles Hamelin and Pascal Dion from Montreal, QC, won their semifinal heat, ahead of the Dutch and Hungarian skaters, to find themselves in Sunday's final against the Netherlands, Japan, Russia and China. The Chinese were advanced to the A final after the South Koreans were penalized.
 
Following Saturday's results, St-Gelais and Girard each top the overall standings in the 500m distance after two World Cups. Boutin is sixth, Macdonald ninth and Bradette 29th in the women's standings. On the men's side, Charles Hamelin is 25th and Cournoyer, 30th.
 
In the 1500m distance, Maltais is the top Canadian in second place in the women's overall standings, followed by Boutin, third. Macdonald is sixth. On the men's side, Hamelin is sixth, Girard eighth and Cournoyer, 21st.
 
Racing continues on Sunday with the final rounds in the relay and 1000m events. Boutin, Maltais, St-Gelais, Girard, Hamelin and Cournoyer will be skating in the 1000m distance.

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

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Kim Boutin: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Jamie Macdonald: 4th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 13)

500m M
Samuel Girard: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Charles Hamelin: penalty in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 20)
Charle Cournoyer: 4th in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 30)

1500m W
Valérie Maltais: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Kim Boutin: 5th in the A Final (final ranking: 5)
Jamie Macdonald: 6th in the A Final (final ranking: 6)

1500m M
Charles Hamelin: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Samuel Girard: penalty in the A Final (final ranking: 6)
Charle Cournoyer: 5th in semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 14)

Relay W
Canada: 2nd in the semifinals and will take part in the A Final Sunday
(Kasandra Bradette, Jamie Macdonald, Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais)

Relay M
Canada: 1st in the semifinals and will take part in the A Final Sunday
(Samuel Girard, Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Pascal Dion)

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
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