Next Canadians vying for World Champion titles: St-Gelais, Hamelin & the Canadian Short Track Team

Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 6, 2017 – The Canadian Short Track Speed Skating Team is in Rotterdam, Netherlands, this weekend, March 10-12, for the last international competition of the season: the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.

Canada will be represented in the individual events by Marianne St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, Kim Boutin from Sherbrooke, QC, and Marie-Ève Drolet from Saguenay, QC, on the women’s side, and by Charle Cournoyer from Boucherville, QC, Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, and Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, on the men’s side.

These six skaters will take part in all individual events, the 500m, 1000m and 1500m. Following these three events, the first eight skaters in the overall ranking will have the opportunity to gain additional points by taking part in the 3000m Super Final.

Valérie Maltais from Saguenay, QC, and Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, on the women’s side, and Pascal Dion from Montréal (Rivière-des-Prairies - Pointe-aux-Trembles borough), QC, and Guillaume Bastille from Rivière-du-Loup, QC, on the men’s side, are completing the Canadian team in the relay events.

Winner of eight medals, including three gold, in ten opportunities at five World Cups this season, Marianne St-Gelais is aiming for nothing less than the overall title.

“My goal is to be World Champion and why not by adding a title in one individual event too?”, said St-Gelais who, last year, finished three points behind Min Jeong Choi from South Korea and the World title at the competition held in Seoul.

“This year, I’ll be sharper since, last year, I made a mistake in the 1000m which, I think, cost me the title. World Championships ending with a three points difference, we will not see this often in our life! This year, my goal will be to do the least amount of errors as possible to give me the best chance. I saw what it took to be World Champion last year and I think my opponents this year will be even more hungry.”

Kim Boutin and Marie-Ève Drolet will make a come back at the World Championships. Boutin didn’t take part in the 2016 edition while Drolet’s last participation at this competition was in 2014 in Montreal since she gave birth to her first child in January 2015.

New approach for Charles Hamelin
On the men’s side, the best Canadian male skater at the 2016-2017 World Cups with three individual medals, Charles Hamelin, will go for a new approach to reach his goal to be World Champion.

“My objective is to have a constant competition, not like last year when I started with a penalty in the 1500m A Final to gain only one point. I want to get as many points as possible to be at the top of the ranking following the first three events”, said Charles Hamelin.

“But this year, I’ll focus more on how I want to achieve this instead of on the final result,” continued the four-time Olympic medalist. “With our sport psychologist, Fabien Abejean, we talked about why this competition is different. I always have problem to be constant and it’s maybe because of the way that I was looking in this competition. In fact, it was maybe the sole reason, as it’s the only competition that I was going in in a categoric way that I wanted to be number one. I also want to transpose this to the Olympic Games to have the same mindset.”

Hamelin will be accompanied by the 2017 Canadian Senior Champion, Charle Cournoyer, who will also make a come back in the individual events at the World Championships for the first time since 2014, and by Samuel Girard, 1000m silver medalist and fourth in the 1500m last year in Seoul.

Qualifying sessions for the 500m, 1000m and 1500m events will be held Friday, while the final rounds for the 1500m and 500m, as well as the relay semifinals are schedule Saturday. Sunday, the final rounds of the 1000m, 3000m Super Final and relays will be held.

Broadcast on CBC and Radio-Canada
The Canadian team's performances will be broadcast on CBC on Sunday, March 12, from 2 pm to 3 pm. Races are webcast live at www.cbcsports.ca as well as at www.ici.radio-canada.ca/sports and on the ISU Skating Channel at http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/isu/.

Members of the Canadian team for the 2017 ISU World Short Track Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands:

WOMEN
-BOUTIN, Kim (Sherbrooke, QC)
-BRADETTE, Kasandra (Saint-Félicien, QC)
-DROLET, Marie-Ève (Saguenay, QC)
-MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC)
-ST-GELAIS, Marianne (Saint-Félicien, QC)

MEN
-BASTILLE, Guillaume (Rivière-du-Loup, QC)
-COURNOYER, Charle (Boucherville, QC)
-DION, Pascal (Montréal, QC)
-GIRARD, Samuel (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC)
-HAMELIN, Charles (Sainte-Julie, QC)

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 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 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC