Speed Skating Canada names short track teams for first two World Cups

OTTAWA – Speed Skating Canada (SSC) released the short track teams to compete in the first two World Cups of the season. The 2011-12 calendar opens Friday, Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah, followed by the second stop on the circuit in Saguenay, Que., from Friday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 30.

SSC’s short track high performance committee met, following the fall World Cup Selections (results) in Montreal from Sept. 16-18, to complete the men’s and women’s teams for the first two World Cups and identify skaters for the third and fourth stops of the season. 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.

“With the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games 28 months away it was important that the committee maximizes the benefits of team selection for each World Cup,” said Yves Hamelin, SSC’s short track program director. “With the 2011-12 season serving as the first half of the Olympic cycle, this time and these events are important in providing less experienced skaters more international competition. Our discretionary selections allow us to continue building a strong foundation for the best team possible for key international events.”

After the three-day selections competition in Montreal, which saw Canada’s top 16 male and 16 female short track speed skaters compete, three men and women earned places on the fall squad with the most points. Marianne St. Gelais of St. Félicien, Que., Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterrière, Que., were the top three women. Charles Hamelin of Lévis, Que., Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and Michael Gilday of Yellowknife were the top three men point-getters.

The committee named St. Gelais, Maltais and Drolet as the top ranked women for the first two World Cups. Joining the trio to open the season are Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., and Jessica Hewitt of Langley, B.C., placing fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, at the selections.

Hamelin and Gilday will represent Canada at all four fall World Cup events for the men. Jean will compete in the second, third and fourth World Cups. Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier of Laval, Que., will be on the squad for the first stop of the fall circuit. Rounding out the six-man squad for Salt Lake City and Saguenay, Que., are François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., and François-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que. They placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, at the selections.

Preliminary rosters have been identified for the third and fourth fall World Cups and will confirmed in November, after the second World Cup.

World Cup #1: Oct. 21-23, Salt Lake City, Utah

Women: Marianne St. Gelais (St. Félicien, Que.); Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.); Marie-Eve Drolet (Laterrière, Que.); Caroline Truchon (Chicoutimi, Que.); Gabrielle Waddell (Red Deer, Alta.); Jessica Hewitt (Langley, B.C.).

Men: Charles Hamelin (Lévis, Que.); Michael Gilday (Yellowknife); Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, Que.); François Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.); François-Louis Tremblay (Alma, Que.); Gabriel Chiasson-Poirier (Laval, Que.).

World Cup #2: Oct. 28-30, Saguenay, Que.

Women: Marianne St. Gelais (St. Félicien, Que.); Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.); Marie-Eve Drolet (Laterrière, Que.); Caroline Truchon (Chicoutimi, Que.); Gabrielle Waddell (Red Deer, Alta.); Jessica Hewitt (Langley, B.C.).

Men: Charles Hamelin (Lévis, Que.); Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que,); Michael Gilday (Yellowknife); Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, Que.); François Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.); François-Louis Tremblay (Alma, Que.).

National teams media guide (PDF)

SSC social media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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