St. Gelais withdraws from Canadian Open Championship

St. Gelais withdraws from 2012 Canadian Open Short Track Championship

SAGUENAY, Que. – SSC announces that Marianne St. Gelais will not compete in the 2012 Canadian Open Short Track Championship, set for the Georges-Vézina Centre from Friday, Jan. 13 to Sunday, Jan. 15.

The 21-year old native of St. Félicien, Que., has been suffering from back pain for the past couple of days. It is not considered a serious injury, but one that needs to be treated by the national team’s medical staff.

“It was best for me to withdraw since competing could have brought on more pain and more problems,” said St. Gelais. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, especially when we train so much for it. But, it’s for the best.”

The short track high performance committee will evaluate St. Gelais’ participation in the last two World Cups of the season (Moscow, March 3-5; Dordrecht, the Netherlands, March 10-12) and the World Championship in Shanghai from March 9-11.

St. Gelais will be available for media interviews tomorrow, Friday, at approximately 1 p.m. at the Georges-Vézina Centre. Her coaches, as well as Yves Hamelin, SSC short track program director, will also be available.

After taking part in the first two World Cups of the season, St. Gelais won three individual gold medals. She is the reigning 2011 Canadian overall champion, as well as the best in the 500-metre and 1,000-metre distances, and second in the 1,500 metres and 3,000 metres.

The Canadian championship will see the 1,500-metre race take place on Friday, the 500 metres on Saturday, and the 1,000 metres, 3,000 metres and relays on Sunday. Races start at 2:10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9:40 a.m. on Sunday.