Two silver medals for Marianne St-Gelais & one for Samuel Girard at first day of the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships

Rotterdam, Netherlands, March 11, 2017 – Marianne St-Gelais won silver medals in the 500m and 1500m at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, Saturday, and is tied for first overall following the first two events, while Samuel Girard stands third after a silver medal in the 1500m and a fourth position in the 500m.

Following day one, St-Gelais, last year’s runner-up overall, earned 42 points and is tied with Elise Christie of Great Britain. Kexin Fan of China is third at 34 while Marie-Ève Drolet of Saguenay, Que., stands eighth with five points.

"I’m really pleased with my two races and I went and got some valuable points," said St-Gelais, a three-time Olympic silver medallist. "I feel if I can keep the same pace I’ve been on the first two days that the world overall title is mine for the taking."

On the men’s side, Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, stands third overall with 29 points after a silver medal in the 1500m and fourth in the 500m. Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands leads with 39 points while Sin da Woon of South Korea is second at 34.

"I’m going to keep the same plan for the final day," said Girard. "Just go step-by-step through each round. I’m really happy where I’m positioned right now."

In the 1500m, Christie beat St-Gelais by only 12 thousandth of a second. Suk Hee Shim of South Korea won the bronze medal. Drolet won the B final for sixth place while Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, was 10th.

"I had a very efficient race in the 1500m," said St-Gelais. "That allowed me to make sure I would be in the top-three at the end. I felt I had the legs to win.”

In the women’s 500m, Kexin Fan won the final in 43.606 edging St-Gelais, second in 43.630. Kim Ji Yoo of South Korea was third in 43.744. Drolet was second in the B final for sixth.

"I thought I could have done better because again I wasn’t physically limited in this race," said St-Gelais. "There are things I could have done better tactically."

In the men’s 1500m, Sin da Woon from South Korea earned the victory in 2:16.919 nudging Girard in second place in 2:16.982. Seo Yi Ra of South Korea was third in 2:17.051. Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, and Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, were third and fourth in the B final for 11th and 12th position.

"I did the best race I could in the final," said Girard. "To win the medal gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow but I can’t get too excited about it either with another big day of racing ahead."

The 500m final was won by Knegt, with Wu Dajing of China second and Seo Yi Ra, third. Samuel Girard took the fourth spot. Cournoyer and Hamelin were ousted in the quarterfinals for 10th and 11th spot.

"I absolutely wanted to be ahead early in the race and I went too fast on the first crossover," said Girard. "Unfortunately, once I fell to my knees it made it very difficult to come back in the race."

Canada qualified for the B final in either the men’s or women’s relays. The women were third in their semifinal heat with Drolet, Maltais, St-Gelais and Kasandra Bradette of St-Félicien. The men’s foursome of Hamelin, Girard, Cournoyer and Pascal Dion of Montreal was fourth in their semifinal heat.

Competition ends Sunday with men’s and women’s 1000m, 3000m Super Final and relay finals.

Broadcast on CBC and Radio-Canada
The Canadian team's performances will be broadcast on CBC on Sunday, March 12, from 2 pm to 3 pm. Races are webcast live at www.cbcsports.ca as well as at www.ici.radio-canada.ca/sports and on the ISU Skating Channel at http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/isu/.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Marie-Ève Drolet: 2nd in the B final (final ranking: 6)
Kim Boutin: penalty in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 42)

500m M
Samuel Girard: 4th in the A final (final ranking: 4)
Charle Cournoyer: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 10)
Charles Hamelin: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)

1500m W
Marianne St-Gelais: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Marie-Ève Drolet: 1st in the B final (final ranking: 7)
Kim Boutin: 5th in the B final (final ranking: 11)

1500m M
Samuel Girard: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Charles Hamelin: 3rd in the B final (final ranking: 11)
Charle Cournoyer: 4th in the B final (final ranking: 12)

Relay M
Canada: 3rd in the semifinals and will take part in the B final Sunday
(Marianne St-Gelais, Marie-Ève Drolet, Valérie Maltais et Kasandra Bradette)

Relay W
Canada: 4th in the semifinals and will take part in the B final Sunday
(Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer, Pascal Dion)
 
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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