Six skaters secure spots on Fall World Cup short track team

Balance of the team to be named later this week

MONTREAL – After three days of competition at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal, Canada’s top 16 male and 16 female short track speed skaters competed for six earned spots on the national team for the fall 2011-12 World Cup schedule. The three women earning places on the squad with the most points this weekend were Marianne St. Gelais (St-Félicien, Que.), Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.) and Marie-Eve Drolet (Chicoutimi, Que.). Charles Hamelin (Lévis, Que.), Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que.) and Michael Gilday (Yellowknife, N.W.T.) were the top three men point-getters.

Speed Skating Canada’s high performance short track committee will meet in the next week to select the other three women and three men who will represent Canada at the first four stops of the World Cup circuit. The season opens Friday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah, quickly followed by the second competition in Saguenay, Que., from Friday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 30. The third World Cup will be held in Nagoya, Japan from Dec. 2-4, and fourth will be in Shanghai, China the following weekend, Dec. 9-11.

The final day of competition for the Fall World Cup Selections featured the second races in the 500-metre and 1,000-metre disciplines. The last events of the weekend were the women’s 3,000-metre and men’s 5,000-metre relays.

In today’s women’s 500-metre final Maltais won in a time of 44.846 seconds, beating St. Gelais and Drolet coming in third. The men’s 500-metre saw Charles Hamelin return to the top spot in a time of 42.018 seconds, followed by François-Louis Tremblay (Alma, Que.) and François Hamelin (Ste-Julie, Que.). The point standings after the combined 500-metres from Friday and today see Maltais and St. Gelais tied for gold and Drolet taking bronze. In the men’s, Charles Hamelin takes gold, followed by Jean with silver and bronze for Tremblay.

In the women’s 1,000-metre, Maltais took first in a time of 1 :33.814, followed by Drolet in second and Jessica Hewitt (Langley, B.C.) in third. St. Gelais did not finish the 1,000-metre competition for precautionary reasons (thigh). In the men’s 1,000-metre, Charles Hamelin recorded a time of 1:28.834 for first place, beating Jean and his brother François. The point standings after two 1,000-metre races for women have Maltais taking gold, Drolet silver and St. Gelais with bronze. For the men’s 1,000-metre, Charles Hamelin earned gold, followed by Jean with silver and bronze for Gilday.

Today’s results in the 500-metre and 1,000-metre were as follows.

Results for women’s 500m: 1. Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.); 2. Marianne St-Gelais (St-Félicien, Que.); 3. Marie-Eve Drolet (Chicoutimi, Que.); 4. Gabrielle Waddell (Red Deer, Alta.); 5. Caroline Truchon (Chicoutimi, Que.); 6. Jessica Hewitt (Langley, B.C.); 7. Andrea Do-Duc (Montreal); 8. Kasandra Bradette (Roberval, Que.); 9. Courtney Shmyr (Vancouver); 10. Ana Pacanins (Caracas, Venezuela); 11. Ann-Véronique Michaud (Amqui, Que.); 12. Vanessa Bélanger-Marceau (Loretteville, Que.); 13. Gillian Richmond (Sarnia, Ont.); 14. Maude Bezeau (Laval, Que.); 15. Léa Thibault (Laval, Que.).

Results for men’s 500m: 1. Charles Hamelin (Lévis, Que.); 2. François-Louis Tremblay (Alma, Que.); 3. François Hamelin (Ste-Julie, Que.); 4. Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que.); 5. Pier-Olivier Gagnon (Quebec); 6. Maxime Fortin (Rivière-du-loup, Que.); 7. Allyn Gagnon (Ottawa); 8. Michael Gilday (Yellowknife, N.W.T.); 9. Alexandre St-Jean (Quebec); 10. Charle Cournoyer (Longueuil, Que.); 11. Rémi Beaulieu (Alma, Que.); 12. Alex Boisvert-Lacroix (Fleurimont, Que.); 13. Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, Que.); 14. Vincent Cournoyer (Longueuil, Que.); 15. Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier (Laval, Que.).

1,000-metre women’s results: 1. Maltais (1:33.814); 2. Drolet; 3. Hewitt; 4. Truchon; 5. Waddell; 6. Bélanger-Marceau; 7. Bourgela; 8. Do-Duc; 9. Michaud; 10. Shmyr; 11. Pacanins; 12. Thibault; 13. Richmond; 14. Bezeau.

1,000-metre men’s results: C. Hamelin (1:28.834); 2. Jean; 3. F. Hamelin; 4. Chiasson-Poirier; 5. Gilday; 6. Beaulieu; 7. C. Cournoyer; 8. Fortin; 9. McFarlane; 10. Bastille; 11. St. Jean; 12. Boisvert-Lacroix; 13. Tremblay; 14. A. Gagnon; 15. V. Cournoyer; 16. PO Olivier.

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