The entire Canadian women's team qualified for the final rounds at the ISU World Cup Short Track stage in South Korea

Gangneung, South Korea, December 16, 2016 – All six members of the Canadian women's short track speed skating team qualified for the final rounds of their individual events, Friday, during the qualification heats held at the ISU World Cup stage that will take place until Sunday in Gangneung, South Korea.
 
Including the men, Canada directly qualified 21 spots out of a possible 24 in the final rounds, Friday, at the competition that is taking place on the official ice of the 2018 Olympic Games.

On the women's side, Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, Valérie Maltais and Marie-Ève Drolet of Saguenay, respectively from the La Baie and Chicoutimi boroughs, QC, as well as Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, who was celebrating her 22nd birthday on Friday, all had a perfect day as they each won boths races in which they skated.
 
St-Gelais, who is looking to earn two podium finishes this weekend after collecting five medals in six events so far in this World Cup season, won her qualification heats in the 1500m and 500m.
 
“It was a very good day. I felt good and the ice was good. The goal was to qualify and now it's done,” said St-Gelais, who will be joined by Valérie Maltais and Kim Boutin in the 1500m semifinals set for Saturday, as well as by Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C. and Kasandra Bradette of Saint-Félicien, QC, in the 500m quarterfinals set for Sunday.
 
“I was aiming for a calm approach in my races, in order to have a good level of confidence going into the weekend. And that's what I did,” said Maltais, who also qualified for the second 1000m of the weekend, scheduled for Sunday.

Maltais, who is looking to earn two top-5 finishes this weekend, will skate in the 1000m (2) along with Kim Boutin and Marie-Ève Drolet.
 
Drolet also qualified for Saturday's 1000m (1) quarterfinals, along with Bradette and Macdonald.
 
A perfect day for Cournoyer
On the men's team, Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, won both his heats on Friday, as he earned spots in Saturday's 1500m semifinals and Sunday's 1000m (2) quarterfinals.
 
Cournoyer and Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, continue to aim for two medals each over the weekend.
 
“In the 1500m, I finished second behind South Korean skater Jung Su Lee in the fastest heat of the day. My legs hurt a bit but I really liked the way I raced,” said Hamelin. “I also raced well in the 1000m. I felt great out there on the ice today.”
 
Girard, for his part, will have to reassess his initial goal of two podium finishes for the weekend after being eliminated from the 1500m due to a penalty.
 
“I didn't have a great race,” he admitted. “I did some good things, but my execution could have been better when I overtook, which led to the penalty.”
 
Girard will be able to make amends on Sunday, however, as he qualified for the 500m quarterfinals along with Pascal Dion of Montreal, Rivière-des-Prairies – Pointe-aux-Trembles borough, QC, and François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC.
 
Dion and Duffy earned spots in the quarterfinals of the men's 1000m (1) slated for Saturday, while François Hamelin was penalized and eliminated. In the 1000m (2), Charles Hamelin and Charle Cournoyer qualified for Sunday's quarterfinals. Duffy will have to go through Sunday morning's repechage heats in that event.
 
In the relay, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette, Kim Boutin and Jamie Macdonald on the women's team as well as François and Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer and Samuel Girard on the men's side allowed Canada to qualify for Saturday's semifinals, as both team finished second in their respective qualification heats.
 
In addition to the relay semifinals, the repechage heats and the final rounds for the first 1000m event and the 1500m will be held on Saturday.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Kasandra Bradette: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Jamie Macdonald: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

500m M
Samuel Girard: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Pascal Dion: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
François Hamelin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

1000m (1) W
Jamie Macdonald: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Kasandra Bradette: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday

1000m (1) M
Pascal Dion: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
Patrick Duffy: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Saturday
François Hamelin: penalty in the heats and eliminated

1000m (2) W
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Valérie Maltais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Kim Boutin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday

1000m (2) M
Charles Hamelin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the heats and will take part in the quarterfinals Sunday
Patrick Duffy: 3rd in the heats and will take part in the Repechage heats Sunday morning

1500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Valérie Maltais: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Kim Boutin: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday

1500m M
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Charles Hamelin: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
Samuel Girard: penalty in the heats and eliminated

Relay W
Canada: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
(Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette, Kim Boutin, Jamie Macdonald)

Relay M
Canada: 2nd in the heats and will take part in the semifinals Saturday
(François Hamelin, Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Samuel Girard)

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 
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