Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais pick up third victories each at Fall Short Track ISU World Cups Selections

Francois Hamelin, Valérie Maltais win first races of trials with victories in Saturday's 1,000m

Calgary, September 20, 2014 –  Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais  won their third races of Speed Skating Canada’s Fall Short Track ISU World Cups Selections in Calgary on Saturday while François Hamelin and Valérie Maltais won their first race of the weekend.
 
Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, won Saturday’s 1,500 for a second time this weekend, the event in which he captured gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Maltais of Saguenay, QC - La Baie, won the women’s 1,000 but was edged at the line by St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, who stormed from the back of the pack in the 1,500, her second win in this distance this weekend.
 
For Francois Hamelin, it was his first distance victory at a World Cup trial as he captured the 1,000m. He was naturally very pleased with his day. He lost a month of short track training this summer when he came to Calgary to try long track for a change of pace. 
 
“It’s my first win at a trials in a distance race so it’s nice, I’m really happy about it,” said the 27-year-old, who is from Sainte-Julie, Que. “I’ve always been second and third but never first.”
 
Sasha Fathoullin of Calgary, AB, was second in the 1,000. Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, QC, placed third. Silver in the women’s 1,000 went to Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC. St-Gelais was third. Joanie Gervais of Saguenay, QC - Jonquiere, was third in the 1,500.
 
Maltais led for most of the 1,500 but St-Gelais snuck up and got her skate across the line first, winning by .021 seconds.
 
“The 1,000 was a good race. I used a different strategy for the final and it paid off,” she said. “In the (heats) I went in front and last season I was used to skating my 1,000 in front. But I decided not to do that in the final and decided to sneak up on the other skaters.”
 
Charles Hamelin won an exciting duel in the 1,500 with junior skater Samuel Girard of Ferland-Boileau, QC, who finished second. Bastille was third.
 
Hamelin received a yellow card in the 1,000 semifinal and was disqualified after showing his frustration when an official called for a re-race.
 
“I shouldn’t have acted like that,” he said.
 
Hamelin has won three of the four men’s races heading into Sunday’s final two events.
 
“For Sunday, I don’t want to get into trouble but I may try a new strategy looking ahead to the World Cups,” he said.
 
St-Gelais has also won three of first four women’s races.
 
“My 1,500 win Friday gave me lots of confidence. I knew I could do it. At one point today I was last so I decided to step on the gas,” she said.  “Valérie went wide on the last curve so that was my chance.”
 
The selections wrap up Sunday with a 500 and 1,000 starting at 10 a.m. Admission is free.
 
The top two men and top two women overall at the selections will automatically qualify for the first four World Cups — Salt Lake City (Nov. 7-9), Montreal (Nov. 14-16), Shanghai, China (Dec. 12-14) and Seoul, Korea (Dec. 19-21).
 
The four remaining athletes will be chosen at the discretion of Speed Skating Canada’s Short Track High Performance Committee.

Here are today's results:
1000m Men
1. François Hamelin, 1:25.729 (Sainte-Julie, QC)
2. Sasha Alexander Fathoullin, 1:25.837 (Calgary, AB)
3. Guillaume Bastille, 1:25.930 (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)

1000m Women
1. Valérie Maltais, 1:33.516 (Saguenay, QC – La Baie)
2. Kim Boutin, 1:33.646 (Sherbrooke, QC)
3. Marianne St-Gelais, 1:33.809 (Saint-Félicien, QC)

1500m Men
1. Charles Hamelin, 2:11.807 (Sainte-Julie, QC)
2. Samuel Girard, 2:11.934 (Ferland-Boileau, QC)
3. Guillaume Bastille, 2:12.347 (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)

1500m Women
1. Marianne St-Gelais, 2:26.202 (Saint-Félicien, QC)
2. Valérie Maltais, 2:26.223 (Saguenay, QC - La Baie)
3. Joanie Gervais, 2:26.807 (Saguenay, QC - Jonquière)

Full results: 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 13,000 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 sponsor 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 
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Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC