Marianne St-Gelais remains perfect while Samuel Girard & Olivier Jean each savour their first win

Marianne St-Gelais won both races slated for Saturday on the women's side, while Samuel Girard and Olivier Jean respectively raced to first place in the 1000m and 1500m events on the second day of the Fall World Cup Selections taking place at Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal.

Marianne St-Gelais, from Saint-Félicien, QC, won the women's 1000m and 1500m races on Saturday. She now has four wins in as many events so far this weekend. Friday, she finished first in the 500m race and won the first of two 1500m events scheduled at the competition.

In Saturday's 1000m final, she finished ahead of Kim Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC, Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, and Audrey Phaneuf from Boucherville, QC. In the 1500m that followed, St-Gelais was again first, followed by Valérie Maltais from La Baie, QC, and Boutin.

St-Gelais will go for a sweep of the women's events at this competition, Sunday, when a second 500m event and a second 1000m race will take place.

“Eveyrthing's possible, but I'm not obsessed with it,” said St-Gelais. “All my decisions are based on winning and picking up the most points possible, while trying out new things at the same time.”

Samuel Girard and Olivier Jean go on to win
On the men's side, Samuel Girard, a 19-year-old athlete from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, won the weekend's first 1000m race by overtaking Charles Hamelin, from Sainte-Julie, QC, coming out one of the turns during the last lap. Charle Cournoyer from Boucherville, QC, earned third place by finishing ahead of Sasha Alexander Fathoullin, from Calgary, AB, by only one thousandth of a second.

In the 1500m, Girard ended up third behind winner Olivier Jean, from Lachenaie, QC, and second-place Charle Cournoyer. Charles Hamelin, who had won Friday's 1500m, fell in Saturday's event in that distance after coming into contact with Fathoullin, and he had to settle for sixth place.

“In the 1000m, I skated several laps behind Charles Hamelin and each lap, I was waiting for an opening to try and overtake him,” explained Girard, who represented Canada at the World Championships both at the junior and senior levels, last season. “But at the end, he went wide after a turn so I took advantage of it.”

So far this weekend, Girard has a second-place and a third-place finish in the 1500m, as well as a fourth-place result in the 500m.

Olivier Jean said he was quite satisfied with his win in the competition's second 1500m race. That was his first victory of the weekend.

“I'm happy with the result, especially after the bike accident I had over the summer, which prevented me from training during a two-month period – which means I'm not in the best of shapes right now,” said Jean, who won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Games. “I've put a lot of emphasis on strategy this weekend, taking in a lot of information, instead of just trying to skate with power.”

Sunday, on the last day of competition, the 500m and 1000m events will start around 10:45 am and finish at approximately 3:30 pm. Admission is $5.

Selection criterias for the Fall World Cups
The 32 skaters (16 men and 16 women) taking part in the Fall World Cups Selections are 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 three highest ranked skaters, based on the total points earned in their best two distances, automatically qualify for the World Cups. The three other positions per gender will be discretionary choices.

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

The full schedule, and the list of competing athletes as well as 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
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
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