Marianne St-Gelais completes sweep of Fall World Cup Selections

Marianne St-Gelais won the last 500m and 1000m races of the weekend, Sunday, at the Fall World Cup Selections in short track speed skating, to complete a sweep of all six individual women's events scheduled at the competition.

In the final of the second 500m race of the weekend, the 25-year-old skater from Saint-Félicien, QC, finished ahead of Kim Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC, Jamie MacDonald, from Fort St. James, B.C., and Courtney Shmyr, from Langley, B.C.

In the 1000m that followed, St-Gelais edged out Audrey Phaneuf of Boucherville, QC, Boutin and Kasandra Bradette of Saint-Félicien, QC.

“Before the competition started, my coach and I talked about setting the objective of winning all six of my races, but I wasn't obsessive about it,” said the three-time Olympic silver medalist. “I went about it one race at a time and I did well in terms of applying the right tactical aspects. This bodes well for the upcoming season on the international scene.”

Kim Boutin also had a successful weekend, as she came up with three second-place and three third-place results, despite the fact that she had to deal with a back injury last summer that required two months of rest. She was visibly satisfied with her weekend.

“It was a great experience and I earned some good results although I wasn't in the greatest shape,” noted Boutin, who was the top Canadian women in overall standings at the 2015 World Championships with a 7th-place result.

Girard picks up second win in 1000m
On the men's side, Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, came up with a repeat of Saturday's performance, by once again beating out Charles Hamelin to finish first in the 1000m. François Hamelin followed in third place, ahead of Maxime Laoun from Montreal (Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, QC).

Girard therefore made amends after settling for fifth place in the 500m even held earlier in the day.

“After my first win in the 1000m (Saturday), I said to myself that it was just a super result,” admitted Girard. “But with this second win, I've proven that it wasn't a stroke of luck. I showed that I deserve to be in this spot.”

Over the weekend, Charles Hamelin won both 500m races in addition to winning the first 1500m event and finishing second in both 1000m contests, each time behind Girard. He also was sixth in the competition's second 1500m, after falling on the ice.

“I had a good weekend overall,” said the three-time Olympic gold medal winner. “For this competition, I wanted to change my race routine, for instance by experimenting with overtaking to find a way to be effective without wasting energy. Certain things worked out well and others, not as much. I need to change some things on the road to the 2018 Olympic Games, and now is the time to do that.”
In Sunday's 500m race, the second of the weekend in that distance, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, QC, finished in second place, behind Hamelin and ahead of Patrick Duffy from Oakville, Ont. It was Jean's fourth trip to the podium during the competition.

“Following my bike accident and the convalescence I had to go through this summer, I'm surprised how good my performances were this weekend. But at the same time, I did what I had to do,” said Jean, who won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games and took part in the 2014 Olympics. “The two weeks before the selections were hard. But I focused on skating well and it paid off. There is still room for improvement.”

Selection criterias for the Fall World Cups
The 32 skaters (16 men and 16 women) taking part in the Fall World Cups Selections were vying for a spot on the National Team that will represent the country in the first four World Cups of the 2015-2016 season, including the first two to be held in Montreal (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) and Toronto (Nov. 6-8).

Canada will send a total of six men and six women to each of these World Cups.

The first six skaters qualified based on the overall ranking will be named later this week while the six discretionary choices will be announced in a few weeks.

The full results 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 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 and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
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Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
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