Marianne St-Gelais leads Canadian charge on the first day of the first Short Track World Cup of the season

Three-time Olympic medalist Marianne St-Gelais of St-Félicien, Que., posted the fastest time of the day in the first 1000m and the second fastest in the 500m in Friday’s qualifying sessions to open the 2014-15 Short Track ISU World Cup season in short track speed skating.

St-Gelais easily advanced the quarterfinals in both events.

“I felt good and my legs were strong”, said St-Gelais. “We never worry about the time but always rely on our feeling and today I had a good feeling about my blades and legs.  My performances today showed how I felt on the ice.  It’s very encouraging and it’s a good way to start a competition and a season.”

It was also a big day for national team rookies, including Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boileau, Que.  Both made impressive World Cup debuts. 

Boutin clocked the second fastest time of the day in the women’s 1500m heats to go through to Saturday’s semifinal and the fourth fastest in the second 1000m for a berth in Sunday’s quarterfinals.

Girard is in the men’s 500m quarterfinals and 1500m repechage after racing to the third and fourth fastest times of the day in those events.

‘’It’s going really well,’’ said Girard.  ‘’I had good starting positions although at the beginning I was pretty stressed.  I’m disappointed with my 1500 because I made the same error as at the world juniors last year.  I was too nervous and attempted passes that were impossible.  In the 500 though I felt good and I had very good speed.’’

Three other Olympians were also in action Friday. Three-time Olympic champion Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., and Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., advanced to the 1500m semis and the second 1000m quarterfinals as did Valérie Maltais of Saguenay (borough La Baie), Que., on the women’s side.

Canada also advanced to the semifinals in both the men’s 5000m relay (Guillaume Bastille, Patrick Duffy, Samuel Girard, Charles Hamelin), and women’s 3000m relay (Joanie Gervais, Valérie Maltais, Courtney Shmyr, Marianne St-Gelais) winning its respective heats.

Competition continues through to Sunday.

Today’s Canadian results
1000m (1) women
Marianne St-Gelais: in quarterfinals Saturday
Kasandra Bradette: in quarterfinals Saturday
Courtney Shmyr: in repechage Saturday
 
1000m (1) men
Patrick Duffy: in quarterfinals Saturday
Samuel Bélanger-Marceau: in repechage Saturday
Yoan Gauthier: in repechage Saturday
 
1500m women
Valérie Maltais: in semifinal Saturday
Kim Boutin: in semifinal Saturday
Joanie Gervais: disqualified
 
1500m men
Charles Hamelin: in semifinal Saturday
Guillaume Bastille: in semifinal Saturday
Samuel Girard: in repechage Saturday
 
1000m (2) women
Kim Boutin: in quarterfinals Sunday
Joanie Gervais: in quarterfinals Sunday
Valérie Maltais: in quarterfinals Sunday
 
1000m (2) men
Guillaume Bastille: in quarterfinals Sunday
Yoan Gauthier: disqualified
Charles Hamelin: in quarterfinals Sunday
 
500m women
Marianne St-Gelais: in quarterfinals Sunday
Courtney Shmyr: in quarterfinals Sunday
Kasandra Bradette: disqualified
 
500m men
Samuel Girard: in quarterfinals Sunday
Samuel Bélanger-Marceau: in repechage Sunday
Patrick Duffy: disqualified
 
3000m relay women (Joanie Gervais, Valérie Maltais, Courtney Shmyr, Marianne St-Gelais)
Canada advances to semifinals Saturday

5000m relay men (Guillaume Bastille, Patrick Duffy, Samuel Girard, Charles Hamelin)
Canada advances to semifinals Saturday

Full results at: http://shorttrack.sportresult.com/. 

More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: 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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Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

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