Marianne St-Gelais wins gold, Charles Hamelin silver at short track World Cup opener

Marianne St-Gelais of St-Félicien, Que., and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., earned gold and silver on Saturday at the first stop on the ISU World Cup circuit in short track speed skating.

In the women’s 1000m final, St-Gelais took the gold by a blink of an eye in 1:32.286 with Minjeong Choi of South Korea second in 1:32.339 and Kexin Fan of China third in 1:32.708.

“It feels really good to get the season off to a great start”, said St-Gelais, a three-time Olympic medallist who won a gold medal in this event for the last time in 2012.  “My last two seasons were not satisfying and this shows that I’m back in the game.  I got out of my comfort zone and really went for it.”

Kasandra Bradette of St-Félicien was eliminated in the quarterfinal and Courtney Shmyr of Langley, B.C., was ousted in the repechage semifinal.

Three Canadians were in the men’s 1500m final.  Da Woon Sin of South Korea took the gold medal in 2:17.635.  Hamelin, a three-time Olympic champion, followed in 2:17.727 and Jung-Su Lee of South Korea was third in 2:17.850.

“Sin really played the trap well at the end of the race”, said Hamelin.  “I felt I had the legs and the energy to move up front on the last two turns.  Still it was a good day for me and I managed my races well. I’m also pleased about three Canadians in a 1500 final, that’s something I’ve rarely seen happen in my career.”

Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boileau, Que., in his World Cup debut, was fifth in 2:18.123 and Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., was sixth in 2:18.284.

“I`m very pleased, it went well”, said Girard.  “There are some errors I shouldn’t have made but still to make the final in my first World Cup is really special.  I came to this World Cup with the objective to go as far as possible.”

In the women’s 1500m B final, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., and Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., were first and third for seventh and ninth overall. 

In the men’s 1000m, Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., was fourth in the A final while Yoan Gauthier of Rivière-du-Loup was third in the B final for seventh overall.  Samuel Bélanger-Marceau of St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Que., was eliminated in the repechage semifinal.

Canada advanced to the women’s A final in the 3000m relay placing second in its semifinal heat with St-Gelais, Maltais, Bradette and Boutin.  In the men’s 5000m relay Canada is headed to the B final after placing third in its semifinal heat with Gauthier, Hamelin, Duffy and Girard.

Competition ends Sunday.  The second stop on the World Cup circuit is November 14-16 in Montreal.

Today’s results
1000 m W
Marianne St-Gelais: gold medal (A Final)
Kasandra Bradette: eliminated in 1000-m quarterfinal
Courtney Shmyr: eliminated in 1000-m repechage semifinal

1000m M
Patrick Duffy: 4th in A Final
Yoan Gauthier: 3rd in B Final
Samuel Bélanger-Marceau: eliminated in 1000-m repechage semifinal

1500m W
Valérie Maltais: 1st in B Final
Kim Boutin: 3rd in B Final

1500m M
Charles Hamelin: Silver (A Final)
Samuel Girard: 5th
Guillaume Bastille: 6th

Men’s relay
Canada: 3rd in semifinal heat and advance to B Final

Women’s relay
Canada: 2nd in semifinal heat and advance to A Final

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