Charles Hamelin wins gold & Kim Boutin earns bronze in 1500m at ISU Short Track World Cup in Seoul

Marianne St-Gelais finishes fourth in the 1500m and in the 500m, as does Samuel Girard in the 1500m

Seoul, South Korea, November 18, 2017 – Charles Hamelin won gold in the men's 1500m while Kim Boutin came up with her sixth individual medal of the season by taking third place in the women's 1500m, Saturday, at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage to take place until Sunday in Seoul, South Korea.

Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, won the men's 1500m ahead of South Korea's Dae Heon Hwang, who was second, and American skater J.R. Celski, who was third. Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, was fourth out of a total of seven skaters who had reached the A final.

Charles Hamelin therefore earned his second individual medal this World Cup season, his first gold. He collected bronze in the 1500m held during the second World Cup stage, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

“This is a medal that feels really good,” said Charles Hamelin. “The way I raced today, the way I felt in the building and out on the ice, it was really something else, I think that is the best I've felt all season. It came at the right time, in the last 1500m and next-to-last day of competition before the Olympic Games. This is the result of the work that's been done this year, and also of the work I've done mentally over the years.”

Samuel Girard ended up at the foot of the podium.

“The semifinal was a bit tough, and I didn't have as much energy as I would have wanted to going into the final, where I make a couple of small mistakes after overtaking on the outside,” said Samuel Girard. “But I'm happy because we collected more points for Canada to earn spots at the Olympics, which is the goal this year.”

Another medal in the 1500m for Kim Boutin
In the women's 1500m, Kim Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC, collected the bronze medal after finishing the race behind South Korean skaters Min Jeong Choi and Suk Hee Shim, respectively. Marianne St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, followed in fourth place out of seven skaters in the A final.

Kim Boutin therefore stepped onto the podium in a fourth straight World Cup stage this season, and for the second time in the 1500m event, after she came up with silver in that distance at the first World Cup of the season, in Budapest, Hungary.

“The strategy was once again to skate out in front and try to push like we're capable of doing. It paid off at first, as I was able to pull the race for a while, I had plenty of energy to do it. It's just that they were able to overtake me during the last lap. At least, I held on for a longer time than in previous races… Next time, I'll hang on until the finish line,” said Boutin, whose other medals this season include a gold and a silver in the 1000m, as well as a gold and a silver in the 500m.

Marianne St-Gelais was in a good position to collect her fourth individual medal this season, but like Samuel Girard on the men's side, she found herself at the foot of the podium.

“It was a good race, a highly-contested race, but I should have picked up speed one lap earlier,” said St-Gelais. “At the end, I realized I still had a lot of energy, that I would have had strong enough legs to do more, meaning I should have managed my energy level differently (earlier on in the race). But there are good things tactically that I can come away with.”

500m: St-Gelais 4th
Marianne St-Gelais also had to settle for fourth place in the women's 500m A final, due to a penalty however, which means she was eliminated after crossing the finish line in third place. The win went to Great Britain's Elise Christie, who won it ahead of South Korea's Min Jeong Choi and Italy's Martina Valcepina.

“I had enough speed to overtake (Valcepina) but I hadn't had enough time to position myself completely in front of her when (Choi) put on the brakes, which put me in a tough position in spite of myself, and I ended up pushing her, so the penalty was well-deserved,” said St-Gelais. “The positive I can take from this, however, is that I had a new challenge this week in the 500m, as I tried out a new position at the starting line. It took away a lot of energy from me early on in the competition but today, it was the first time I felt really comfortable at the start. So that bodes well for what's coming up.”

Marianne St-Gelais was the only Canadian, out of the five who had qualified for Saturday's final rounds in the 500m, to reach the A final. Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, won the B final to finish fifth overall.

In the relay, the Canadian women's team comprised of Kim Boutin, Kasandra Bradette, Marianne St-Gelais and Jamie Macdonald finished fourth in its heat, Saturday, and will skate in Sunday's B final.

The 1000m final rounds and the women's and men’s relay finals at the Seoul World Cup, the fourth and last stage of the season, are slated for Sunday.

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

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: penalty in the A Final (final ranking: 4)
Kasandra Bradette: 1st in the B Final (final ranking: 5)
Jamie Macdonald: 6th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 19)

500m M
Samuel Girard: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)
Pascal Dion: penalty in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 19)
Charles Hamelin: penalty in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 34)

1500m W
Kim Boutin: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Marianne St-Gelais: 4th in the A Final (final ranking: 4)
Valérie Maltais: penalty in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 20)

1500m M
Charles Hamelin: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Samuel Girard: 4th in the A Final (final ranking: 4)
Pascal Dion: 5th in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 15)

Relay W
Canada: 4th in the semifinals and will take part in the B Final Sunday
(Kim Boutin, Kasandra Bradette, Marianne St-Gelais, Jamie Macdonald)
 
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 
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