Charle Cournoyer & Marianne St-Gelais add to their medal tally at Toronto's ISU World Cup Short Track

Charle Cournoyer and Marianne St-Gelais both added to their medal tally so far this season as they respectively won gold in the men's 1000m and a silver medal in the weekend's second 500m on the women's side, Sunday, on the last day of the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating held in Toronto.

Cournoyer and St-Gelais contributed to a total haul of four medals for the day by the Canadian tean, to close out the first-ever speed skating World Cup to be held in Toronto. Charles Hamelin won the men's 500m, Sunday, while Valérie Maltais earned bronze in the women's 1000m.

The four medals, added to the four won on Saturday by Canadian skaters, allowed Canada to surpass by one medal the objective of seven individual medals it had set out for itself for the Toronto World Cup stage.

And in the relay, Canada won gold on the men's side. It was Canada's first win in a men's relay since the 2013-2014 season.

Cournoyer's victory in the 1000m, earned thanks to a time of one minute and 26.998 seconds that allowed him to finish in front of South Korean skaters Seo Yi Ra (1:27.029) and Kwak Yoon-Gy (1:27.114), comes on top of the silver medal he collected in the 500m raced in the first World Cup stage of the season, last week in Montreal.

Cournoyer (Boucherville, Qc), who won bronze in the 500m at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, therefore seems to be back in top form after a difficult 2014-2015 season on the World Cup circuit. He started out last season after having a shoulder operation and nursing a foot fracture.

“My World Cup comeback is going quite well!,” said Cournoyer. “Two medals in four races, with gold today… It's all good!”

“I was in control for start to finish,” said Cournoyer of his gold-medal winning performance. “I really used all the tools I have to my full capacity. I just need to continue skating like that for the rest of the season.”

For her part, St-Gelais (Saint-Félicien, Qc), who won 12 medals in six Worlds Cups in 2014-2015, reached the podium for the fourth time in as many individual races so far this season. She collected a silver medal, Sunday, after picking up bronze in Saturday's 1500m, as well as gold in the 500m and silver in the 1000m last week in Montreal.

“Medals are not my objective at all, I don't think in those terms,” said St-Gelais. “My goal is to apply my race plan as best I can. And if that leads to podium finishes, it's because I have what it takes physically and mentally to achieve that. I need to continue at this level until the next World Championships.”

St-Gelais conceded gold by only one thousandth of a second, Sunday, as South Korea's Choi Minjeong won it in 42.998 seconds, compared to 42.999 for the 25-year-old Canadian skater. China's Han Yutong followed in third place with a time of 43.117.

“I may have been thinking too much about the gold medal and not enough about my skating, and when the Korean skater came on, I didn't really see it coming,” said St-Gelais. “I knew it was going to be a close finish, I wasn't sure if I had (first place) or not… I'm still proud of my race, I followed the plan which was to skate in front, and manage the pressure that would come behind me.”

Charles Hamelin and Valérie Maltais bounce back
Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Qc) won the men's 500m in 40.691 seconds, ahead of Hungarian skaters Shaolin Sandor Liu (40.777) and Viktor Knoch (46.263). It was Hamelin's second win in as many World Cup stages so far this season. He won the men's 1000m held last week in Montreal.

“I wanted to bounce back and be strong the whole day,” said Charles Hamelin, who was eliminated at the quarterfinal stages in Saturday's 500m, due to a penalty. “The ice was good today, my times where up there and I did my job.”

Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Qc) collected her first individual medal in five World Cups as she earned bronze with a time of 1:34.041, which earned her a spot on the podium alongside South Korea's Shim Suk Hee (1:33.964) and Great Britain's Elise Christie (1:34.028). The 25-year-old skater's previous individual medal, also a bronze in the 1000m, dated back to last year's first World Cup stage, in Salt Lake City. Maltais skated in four of last season's six World Cup stages.

“It's a load off my shoulders. Last week in Montreal, I felt really good and it's too bad I was disqualified,” said Maltais. “But today, I showed I deserve to be skating in finals. But to reach a final, you can't afford to make mistakes. And that's what I focused on today, on avoiding mistakes.

“I was first with one lap to go (in the final) before I slipped and lost a lot of speed, but I'm still satisfied with how my day went.”

The other Canadian skater who qualified for a A final, Samuel Girard (Ferland-et-Boilleau, Qc), was disqualified in the men's 500m.

Two Canadian skaters qualified for B finals. Audrey Phaneuf (Saint-Hyacinthe, Qc) took third place in the women's 500m B final to finish seventh overall in that distance for the day. That was the 19-year-old skater's best overall ranking in an individual World Cup race in four stages so far, dating back to last season.

Patrick Duffy (Oakville, ON) finished first in the men's 500m B final, and sixth overall, after going through three rounds of repechage heats in the morning and two elimination rounds in the afternoon.

In the relay, Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer and Patrick Duffy allowed Canada to win in 6:58,715, ahead of South Korea (6:58.733) and China (6:58.817). The four Canadian skaters, in addition to Sasha Fathoullin (Calgary, AB), who skated in Friday's relay qualification race, therefore each earned a gold medal.

“I can't think of a better way to finish off the weekend here at home for me,” said Duffy. “It had been a long time since the last win for the Canadian men, so it's a special feeling.”

After coming up with a silver medal last week in Montreal, the women's relay comprised of Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette (Saint-Félicien, Qc) and Audrey Phaneuf finished fourth on Sunday.

The Canadian team therefore has won 14 individual medals and two relay medals in two World Cup stages so far this season, in Montreal and Toronto.

The national squad will soon be heading to Asia to take part in the next two stages on the ISU World Cup circuit. The third stage of the season will be held December 4-6 in Nagoya, Japan, while the fourth stage will follow December 11-13 in Shanghai, China.

Meanwhile, the long track speed skating World Cup circuit will be getting underway later this week, as the first stage of the season will be held November 13-15 at Calgary's Olympic Oval.

TODAY'S CANADIAN RESULTS:
500m (2) M
-Charles Hamelin: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
-Samuel Girard: penalty in the A final (final ranking: 5)
-Patrick Duffy: 1st in the B final (final ranking: 6)

1000m M
-Charle Cournoyer: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
-Sasha Fathoullin: 3rd in quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)
-François Hamelin: penalty in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 40)

Relay M
Canada: gold medal
(Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Patrick Duffy, Sasha Fathoullin, Samuel Girard)

500m (2) W
-Marianne St-Gelais: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
-Audrey Phaneuf: 3rd in the B final (final ranking: 7)
-Kim Boutin: 3rd in quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)

1000m W
-Valérie Maltais: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
-Kasandra Bradette: 4th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 15)
-Jamie MacDonald: 5th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 17)

Relay W
Canada: 4th in the A Final
(Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette, Audrey Phaneuf)

More details available on Speed Skating Canada's web site at www.speedskating.ca.

About the 2015 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Toronto
The 2015 ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Toronto, set to take place from November 6 to 8 at MasterCard Centre, features the best short track speed skaters in the world as part of the second 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 Toronto would like to thank its partners and sponsors:

Corporate partners: Intact, Li-Ning, Usana, The Westin Harbour Castle, Snapd, 7-11, City-Chevrolet Buick Cadillac GMC

Government partners: Government of Canada, Tourism Toronto, City of Toronto

Sports partners: ISU, Ontario Speed Skating Association and Speed Skating Canada

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.

- 30 -

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