Day 1 at World Cup #1 - Races & records

Qualifications on Day 1 of the Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup in Calgary
Canadian skaters move on to quarterfinal and semifinal races


CALGARY – On the first day today of the Samsung ISU World Cup (results web site) at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Speed Skating Canada saw all 12 of its skaters move on to their quarterfinal or semifinal races on Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s qualification rounds included the 500 metres, two 1,000-metre races, the 1,500 and relay quarterfinals.

World records today: Valerie Maltais of Canada set a 1,000-metre record of 1:27.563*. Vladimir Grigorev of Russia set the 500-metre record of 40.344 seconds* winning his preliminary heat race. Canada's relay team of Michael Gilday, Charles Hamelin, Francois Hamelin and Olivier Jean won their relay quarterfinal race and set a new world record of six minutes and 30.958 seconds, taking off 4.926 seconds. The previous record was 6:35.884 set by Korea in 2011. (Photo: Canadian relay team, Charles Hamelin and Francois (back), Olivier Jean (left front) and Michael Gilday: Photo by Dave Holland Photography).

Saturday’s races will see the 1,500-metre race, the first of two 1,000-metre competitions and the men’s and women’s relay semifinals. On Sunday, there will be the 500-metre and second 1,000-metre races, as well as the relay finals. CBC Sports will broadcast the World Cup live and web stream on Saturday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET, and on tape-delay Monday from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. ET.

Here is how Canada’s skaters fared today in the qualification rounds:

Marie-Ève Drolet of Laterrière, Que.: Qualified for the 1,500-metre semifinals (Saturday); Qualified for the second 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Jessica Gregg of Edmonton: Qualified for the 1,500-metre semifinals (Saturday); Qualified for the second 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C.: Qualified for the first 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Saturday); Finished fifth in 500-metre qualification heat. She will have to race through repechage to reach the quarterfinals (Sunday).
Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que.: Qualified for the first 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Saturday); Qualified for 500-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Marianne St. Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que.: Qualified for the 1,500-metre semifinals (Saturday); Qualified for 500-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que.: Qualified for the first 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Saturday); Qualified for the second 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).

Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que.: Qualified for the 1,500-metre semifinals (Saturday) by advancement (interfered with); He finished fourth in his qualification heat. He will have to race through the second 1,000-metre repechage to reach the quarterfinals (Sunday).
Michael Gilday of Yellowknife: Qualified for the 1,500-metre semifinals (Saturday); Qualified for the second 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que.: Qualified for the 1,500-metre semifinals (Saturday); Qualified for 500-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que.: Qualified for the first 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Saturday); Qualified for 500-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que.: Qualified for the first 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Saturday); Qualified for 500-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).
Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta.: He finished third in his qualification heat. He will have to race through the first 1,000-metre repechage to reach the quarterfinals (Saturday); Qualified for the second 1,000-metre quarterfinals (Sunday).

Both men’s and women’s relay teams qualified for the semifinals on Saturday. The women's team featured Drolet, Gregg, Maltais and St. Gelais, while the men lined-up with Gilday, Charles Hamelin, François Hamelin and Jean.

* The previous 1,000-metre mark of 1:29.049 was set by Zhou Yang of China during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. That record was also beat by the second and third place finishers to Maltais: Soyoun Lee of Korea (1:27.664) and Sayuri Shimizu of Japan (1:27.785).
* The previous 500 metres record was 40.651 seconds set by Si-Bak Sung of Korea (2009). In addition to Grigorev, four other results also beat the 2009 record after the Russian set the new mark: Francois Hamelin of Canada (2nd to Grigorev in race, 40.443), and J.R. Celski of the United States (40.502), who was first in his race; and in the next round, Grigorev to win his qualification race (40.436); and Charles Hamelin of Canada to win his qualification race (40.367).

The circuit continues the following weekend with World Cup #2 in Montreal, from Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28. Both World Cups will be broadcast in part on CBC Sports. The third World Cup will be held in Nagoya, Japan from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and fourth will be in Shanghai, China the following weekend, Dec. 7-9.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance begins this weekend with the first World Cup of the season. Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. The last two seasons, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.