Marianne St-Gelais second overall in women's standings & Samuel Girard third overall on men's side at ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships

Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 12, 2017 – Marianne St-Gelais finished second overall in the women's standings while Samuel Girard was third overall and Charles Hamelin earned bronze in the 1000m on the men's side, Sunday, at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships,

Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, therefore won four silver medals over the competition. In addition to her second-place finish in final overall standings, she picked up a silver medal in the women's 1000m race held Sunday, adding to the two second-place results she earned in Saturday's 500m and 1500m.

“I'm satisfied with this second place finish overall, although I'm a bit disappointed because I was initially aiming for the overall world title,” said Marianne St-Gelais. “Still, when I look at the bigger picture, I tell myself that there are things that I've really improved and things that I've done really well, and this is the kind of progress that bodes well running up to the Olympic Games (in 2018).”

First in provisional overall standings after Saturday's races, Marianne St-Gelais was overtaken in the rankings by Elise Christie when the British skater won the women's 1000m, Sunday, ahead of St-Gelais, who was second. Christie subsequently finished ahead of St-Gelais in the 3000m Super Final that followed, taking third place while the Canadian athlete followed in fourth spot.

Christie therefore won the women's world championship title with a total of 89 points, compared to 68 points for St-Gelais. South Korea's Suk Hee Shim, who won the 3000m race ahead of countrywoman Ji Yoo Kim, ended up third overall with 52 points.

“I would have needed one more lap (in the 1000m) to be able to put myself in position to challenge the girls ahead of me at the finish line,” pointed out Marianne St-Gelais. “After that result, I had no hope of finishing higher than second overall. Then, in the 3000m, I managed the race as best I could. People don't realize how hard that distance is, given the fact we don't race it during the season, and because of the different intricacies that make it a complex event to predict and manage.”

Marie-Eve Drolet of Saguenay, QC, was eliminated in the 1000m quarterfinals after settling for fourth place in her heat and did not qualify for the 3000m, which involved only the top eight skaters in overall standings after the first three events. Drolet, who was taking part in her first World Championships since 2014, having stepped away from skating for several months to give birth to her first child in January of 2015, ended the weekend in 10th spot overall. This is her best overall ranking at the World Championships since 2012, when she finished seventh overall.

Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, who had to settle for the ranking finals in the 1000m, Sunday, won her heat and was ranked the top skater in that part of the competition. Boutin, who was taking part in her second career World Championships, finished 24th overall.

Samuel Girard earns bronze in overall standings
On the men's side, Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, earned his first career podium finish in overall standings at the World Championships, as he was taking part in his third ever competition. He finished seventh overall last year and was 19th in 2015 in his debut.

“I'm really happy,” said Samuel Girard. “I came here with a basic goal of doing well in each one of my races and applying well all the things I've worked on over the last few months, and it paid off. I made a few small mistakes, but it's part of the learning process.”

Although he was eliminated after being penalized in the men's 1000m semifinals on Sunday, Samuel Girard still earned a spot among the eight skaters who qualified for the 3000m, thanks to the results he posted on Saturday – a silver medal in the 1500m and a fourth-place finish in the 500. In the 3000m Super Final, he finished fourth, behind Dutch skater Sjinkie Knegt, South Korea's Yi Ra Seo and Russia's Victor An to end up third overall with 37 points, behind Seo (81 point) and Knegt (73 points).

“In the 1000m semifinal, I was aiming to block the path of the skaters who were behind me, but I may have been a bit too heavy-handed,” said Samuel Girard. “It's unfortunate because it may have cost me points that would have allowed me to fight for second or even first spot overall, and my approach in the 3000m would have been different. Still, in the 3000m, I tried to move up a spot or two at the end, but I didn't have any legs left.”

Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, also skated in the 3000m after winning the bronze medal in the 1000m, finishing behind South Korea's Yi Ra Seo, who won gold, and Hungary's Shaoang Liu, who collected silver. The Canadian veteran skater took sixth place in the 3000m to finish eighth overall in men's standings.

“My best race of the day was in the 1000m semifinal and I would have liked to replicate it in the final but unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the best skating line to overtake an opponent towards the middle of the race,” said Charles Hamelin. “It cost me silver or gold, as well as points that may have allowed me to fight for a podium finish in overall standings. But I can still be proud of the fact that I won this bronze medal, considering how fierce the level of competition was at these World Championships.”

“As for finishing eighth overall, it isn't too bad considering the level of competition which means that you now need to have perfect races just to go through each round,” noted Charles Hamelin, who had finished among the top four overall in each of the six previous years at the World Championships. “It can come down to one imperfect skating line here or there, to one missed opportunity in overtaking, which ends up costing you several ranks in the standings.”

Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, was also penalized in the men's 1000m semifinals, and was eliminated at that stage of the event. Cournoyer, who was taking part in his first World Championships since 2014, finished 15th overall in the men's standings. He was 11th overall three years ago.

The Canadian relays won their respective B finals, both on the men's and women's sides, to finish fifth overall. Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette and Kim Boutin skated for the women's relay on Sunday, while the men's team was comprised of Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer and Guillaume Bastille.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

1000m W
Marianne St-Gelais: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Marie-Ève Drolet: 4th in her heat in quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 14)
Kim Boutin: 1st in her heat in ranking races (final ranking: 22)
 
1000m M
Charles Hamelin: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Samuel Girard: penalized in semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 12)
Charle Cournoyer: penalized in semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)

3000m F
Marianne St-Gelais: fourth place (final ranking: 4)

3000m M
Samuel Girard: fourth in Super Final (final ranking: 4)
Charles Hamelin: sixth in Super Final (final ranking: 6)

Final overall ranking W
Marianne St-Gelais: 2
Marie-Ève Drolet: 10
Kim Boutin: 24

Final overall ranking M
Samuel Girard: 3
Charles Hamelin: 8
Charle Cournoyer: 15

Relay W
Canada: 1st in B final (final ranking: 5)
(Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette, Kim Boutin)
 
Relay M
Canada: 1st in B final (final ranking: 5)
(Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer, Guillaume Bastille)
 
More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
 
About Speed Skating Canada
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