Five medals today for Canada at World Cup

Five medals today for Canada at the short track World Cup in the Netherlands

DORDRECHT, the Netherlands – At the sixth and last Korean Air ISU World Cup of the season in Dordrecht, in the Netherlands, Canada’s short track team took home four individual medals and silver in the men’s relay. Marianne St. Gelais, Marie-Eve Drolet and Olivier Jean won silver and François-Louis Tremblay was a bronze medallist.

Audio (MP3): Drolet (French), Maltais and St. Gelais (French)

St. Gelais, of St. Félicien, Que., won the 500 metres silver medal in a time of 44.621 seconds. Italian Arianna Fontana (44.524) edged St. Gelais by 0.097 seconds to take the gold medal. Martina Valcepina of Italy was third (44.676). Teammate Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., just missed the podium by 0.011 seconds (44.687) to take fourth spot. Maltais skated through two extra repechage races today to reach the finals.

Drolet, of Laterrière, Que., won both her quarter-final and semifinal 1,000-metre heats to reach the finals. She won her seventh career World Cup medal, and first this season, with a second place finish (1:32.813) in the final behind American Lana Gehring (1:32.711) and ahead of Jainrou Li of China.

Skating in his fifth consecutive 1,000-metre A final this season, Jean, of Lachenaie, Que., won the silver medal (1:28.265). Jinkyu Noh of South Korea was first in a time of 1:28.202 and J.R. Celski of the United-States was third (1:28.422). It was Jean’s seventh medal of the season and 15th career.

Tremblay, of Alma, Que., won both his 500-metre quarter-final and semifinal races to qualify for the A final. He won the bronze medal in 41.609 seconds. American Simon Cho (41.461) took the gold medal and Yoon-Gy Kwak of South Korea (41.592) silver.

Kasandra Bradette of St. Félicien, Que., was fourth in her 500-metre semifinal heat, finishing with a seventh overall ranking.

Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., won her quarter-final 1,000-metre heat, but was fourth in the semifinals. In the B final, she was third for a seventh overall ranking. Having to qualify through the repechage rounds in the 1,000 metres to reach the quarter-finals, Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., won her first race of the day but was second in the other. She did not reach the quarter-finals. Waddell finished 17th overall.

Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., won his quarter-final race but was third in the semifinals. He skated to third place in the B final for a final position of seventh. Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta., was fourth in his 500-metre quarter-final heat for a 14th place ranking.

Rémi Beaulieu of Alma, Que., and Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., were both fourth in their 1,000-metre quarter-finals. Beaulieu won the C final to take 12th place overall, and Duffy was 15th.

Beaulieu, Jean, McFarlane and Tremblay represented Canada in the men’s relay. The team was second in a time of 6:56.569, behind the Netherlands (6:55.971). Bastille and Duffy also earned silver medals, having skated in earlier rounds.

The final World Cup classifications were as follows (Top 10):

Team: Women, 1st; Men, 2nd.

Relay: Women, 5th; Men, 1st.

Women’s 500 metres: Marianne St. Gelais, 5th; Caroline Truchon, 7th.

Women’s 1,000 metres: St. Gelais, 5th.

Women’s 1,500 metres: Valérie Maltais, 5th; Marie-Eve Drolet, 7th.

Men’s 500 metres: Olivier Jean, 1st; Charles Hamelin, 2nd; François-Louis Tremblay, 6th.

Men’s 1,000 metres: Olivier Jean, 3rd; Charles Hamelin, 4th; Michael Gilday, 6th; Guillaume Bastille, 8th.

Men’s 1,500 metres: Charles Hamelin, 5th.

The Canadian team now focuses on the World Short Track Championships in Shanghai, China, from March 9-11. Speed Skating Canada’s short track high performance committee will confirm the team in the following weeks.

The World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is up to $43,000 (21 gold medals, 15 silver and seven bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.