SSC names short track teams for the fall World Cups

Speed Skating Canada names short track teams for the fall World Cups

MONTREAL
– Speed Skating Canada (SSC) released today the short track teams for the first four World Cups of the season. The 2012-13 Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track calendar opens at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, starting Friday, Oct. 19 through to Sunday, Oct. 21. The circuit continues the following weekend with World Cup #2 in Montreal, from Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28 (complete international short track schedule). Both World Cups will be broadcast in part on CBC Sports.

Following the short track fall World Cups selections (results) in Calgary from Sept. 14-16, SSC’s short track high performance committee met to select the men’s and women’s teams for the fall World Cups. The third World Cup will be held in Nagoya, Japan from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and fourth will be in Shanghai, China the following weekend, Dec. 7-9.

After the three-day selections competition in Calgary, which saw Canada’s top 16 male and 16 female short track speed skaters compete, five men and four women earned places on the fall squad based on their ranking of their best two of three distances.

The top four women’s spots were claimed, in ranking order from the selections, by Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., and Marianne St. Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que. Marie-Ève Drolet of Laterrière, Que., received an injury bye after suffering from concussion-like symptoms following a fall during the selections, and Jessica Gregg of Edmonton was granted the discretionary sixth position.

On the men’s side, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., took first place at the selections, followed by Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., Francois Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., Michael Gilday of Yellowknife, and Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta. The high performance committee selected Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., as the sixth skater.

“With the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games only 16 months away it was important that the primary focus of team selection was to select the best team to compete at each of the World Cups,” said Yves Hamelin, SSC’s short track program director. “Consequently, if there are no injuries we will see the same athletes for all four fall World Cups instead of what we have seen in the last two years.

“With fewer than 11 months before the Olympic team selections in August 2013, the 2012-13 season and these events are important in providing our skaters with international competition for Sochi 2014 Olympics preparation,” added Hamelin. “Our discretionary selections also allow us to continue building a strong foundation for the best team possible for key international events.”

The Canadian Open Short Track Championships, in Montreal from Jan. 18-20, will determine the teams for the World Cups in Sochi, Russia, an Olympic test event, from Feb. 1-3, and in Dresden, Germany, from Feb. 8-10, as well as the World Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, from March 8-10.

Quick notes on the Canadian team, skater (hometown/branch):

Marie-Eve Drolet
(Laterrière, Que./Quebec), 30 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 16; World Cup medals: Won one gold, five silver and one bronze individual medal, and two gold, three silver and two bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: injury bye

Jessica Gregg (Edmonton/Alberta), 24 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 18; World Cup medals: Won one gold, one silver and three bronze individual medals, and two gold, one silver and nine bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 5th overall; 500 m: 4th and 4th; 1000 m; 3rd and 4th; 1500 m: 12th and 7th

Jessica Hewitt (Langley, B.C./Quebec), 25 years old
International seasons: 4th
World Cups: 13; World Cup medals: Won one gold medal, two silver and three bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 2nd overall; 500 m: 3rd and 6th; 1000 m; 2nd and 2nd; 1500 m: 7th and 6th

Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que. /Quebec), 22 years old
International seasons: 5th
World Cups: 13; World Cup medals: Won a silver medal and two bronze individual medals, and two silver and eight bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 1st overall; 500 m: 1st and 1st; 1000 m; 4th and 1st; 1500 m: 1st and 1st

Marianne St. Gelais (St. Félicien, Que./Quebec), 22 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 15; World Cup medals: Won nine gold, three silver and three bronze individual medals, and three silver and eight bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 4th overall; 500 m: 5th and 2nd; 1000 m; 4th and 3rd; 1500 m: 5th and 3rd

Caroline Truchon (Chicoutimi, Que./Quebec), 24 years old
International seasons: 3rd
World Cups: 8; World Cup medals: Won two silver medals and one bronze medal in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 3rd overall; 500 m: 7th and 7th; 1000 m; 1st and 5th; 1500 m: 4th and 4th

Guillaume Bastille (Rivière-du-Loup, Que./Quebec), 27 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 14; World Cup medals: Won two gold, two silver and four bronze career individual medals, and five gold, two silver and four bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 6th overall; 500 m: 8th and 7th; 1000 m; 10th and 8th; 1500 m: 4th and 5th

Michael Gilday (Yellowknife/N.W.T.), 25 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 17; World Cup medals: Won one gold, three silver and three bronze individual medal, and four gold, six silver and four bronze medals in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 4tth overall; 500 m: 11th and 6th; 1000 m; 11th and 6th; 1500 m: 3rd and 2nd

Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que./Quebec), 28 years old
International seasons: 10th
World Cups: 41; World Cup medals: Won 18 gold, 13 silver and 18 bronze individual medals. In the relay, he won 13 gold, 14 silver and nine bronze medals
2012 fall World Cups selections: 1st overall; 500 m: 1st and 1st; 1000 m; 2nd and 3rd; 1500 m: 1st and 1st

François Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que./Quebec), 25 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 17; World Cup medals: Won a silver and four bronze individual medals. In the relay, he won six gold, four silver and five bronze medals
2012 fall World Cups selections: 4rd overall; 500 m: 6th and 3rd; 1000 m; 6th and 2nd; 1500 m: 13th and third

Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, Que./Quebec), 28 years old
International seasons: 6th
World Cups: 23; World Cup medals: Won seven gold, five silver and four bronze individual medals. In the relay, he won five gold, 10 silver and five bronze medals
2012 fall World Cups selections: 2nd overall; 500 m: 3rd and 2nd; 1000 m; 1st and 1st; 1500 m: 2nd and 4th

Liam McFarlane (Medicine Hat, Alta./Quebec), 26 years old
International seasons: 3rd
World Cups: 4; World Cup medals: Won a silver individual medal. He also won two gold medals and two silver in the relay
2012 fall World Cups selections: 5th overall; 500 m: 4th and 4th; 1000 m; 3rd and 9th; 1500 m: 9th and 12th