Two World Records broken by Canadian short track speed skaters over the weekend

François Hamelin on the phone after setting his World Record. Photo: Arno Hoogveld
Canadian skaters had a great weekend at the Olympic Oval Oktoberfest competition, setting two new World Records. In the Saturday 500m final, François Hamelin, 20, of Ste-Julie, QC, skated the distance in 41.066, just under the World Record of 41.184 that was held by Jean-François Monette, another member of the Canadian National Team.

“I started the race with my focus on Cory [Rasmussen]. I was able to close the gap with two laps to go and made a sweet pass. I didn’t realize I had set a record until after I talked to my coach.”, said the athlete afterwards. Hamelin’s brother, Charles, is the current World Champion in the distance and was the first man to skate under 41 seconds at the National Team Selection 1 at the Olympic Oval a few weeks ago, but his time of 40.950 can only be recognized as a Canadian Record as it was not an ISU sanctioned competition.

Michael Gilday in his 1000m race. Photo: Arno Hoogveld

On Sunday, Michael Gilday, of Yellowknife, NT, skated to a World Record of his own in the 1000m with a time of 1:23.815. “I specifically went for it today,” said Gilday, 20 years old a member of Canada’s National Development Team. “I went to Guillaume Bastille and asked if he wanted to try for the world record.” Bastille, a member of Speed Skating Canada’s Talent 2014 squad, finished second in 1:24.362, also under the old world record time of 1:24.674, set by Jiajun Li of China in 2004.

These two records show the depth of the Canadian National and Development teams, as they were set while the racing team was en route to China for the first World Cup event of the season that will be held next weekend.