Charles Hamelin crowned 1500m World Champion & Kim Boutin collects bronze at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Montreal

Jamie Macdonald comes up with 4th place in the women's 500m at her first World Championships

Montreal, March 17, 2018 – Charles Hamelin was crowned World Champion in the men's 1500m while Kim Boutin earned a bronze medal in that distance on the women's side, Saturday, at the ISU World Championships that took place until Sunday at Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal.

Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, QC, won gold in the 1500m ahead of South Korea's Hyo Jun Lim, who collected silver after winning gold in that distance at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, and Russia's Semen Elistratov, who picked up bronze after doing the same last month at the Games. Hamelin therefore reclaimed the World Championship title he won for the first time in that distance in 2014.

“Once again, I felt great out there today, so the key for me was to manage my race well, to manage it like I've never managed it before, and that's exactly what I was able to do. I even surprised myself in the final when, of all of a sudden during the race, I realized that I had a chance to win it,” said Charles Hamelin. “The level was high in every round, so there was no room for any mistakes. I had to be really smart about it and pass at the right time, and that's what I was able to do.”

“I'm really in the zone at the present time and it helps me a lot,” added Hamelin, who recently decided to postpone his retirement plans for at least a year. “The confidence I've gained in training leading up to the World Championships has had a real impact on what I do during the races. That's the way I want to race and that's what allows me to get some good results.”

Also qualified for the 500m final rounds, Charles Hamelin finished third in his heat in the semifinals and then won the B final. South Korea's Dae Heon, who earned silver in the 500m at the Olympics, was crowned World Champion in the distance, ahead of China's Ziwei Ren and Russia's Semen Elistratov.

Charles Hamelin therefore finished fifth overall in the 500m event, which was enough for him to end up on top of the World Championship provisional overall standings with one day to go with 39 points. Dee Heon Hwang from South Korea is second with 34 points and Elistratov, third with 26 points. Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, is ninth (three points).

Boutin third in the 1500m like at the Olympic Games
Bronze medalist in the 1500 at the 2018 Olympic Games, Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, skated to the same result on Saturday at the World Championships. She finished behind Min Jeong Choi, who won gold on Saturday like she did in PyeongChang last month, and Suk Hee Shim, who skated to silver, both from South Korea.

Boutin, who won three individual medals at the recent Olympic Games, therefore won her first-ever medal in three World Championships so far over her career. Her top result until now at that competition had been a fourth-place finish in the 1000m in 2015.

“I would have liked to go after the silver medal, even the gold, but I'm still happy with the way I raced,” said Kim Boutin, who moved from fourth to first place halfway through the race, and then gave way to two opponents towards the end. “These were pretty tough races physically because I spent a lot of time pulling the group. I had strong legs, but I was tired and so my decision-making wasn't as quick as it usually is. I was overtaken at the end, but I still raced well and it's encouraging for the rest of the competition.”

Jamie Macdonald from Fort St. James, B.C., finished at the foot of the podium in the women's 500m, taking fourth place in the A final as she was skating in the first World Championships of her career. She ended up being the sole Canadian in the final towards the end of the race when Kim Boutin, who had also qualified for the A final, fell while skating out in front of the pack and after stepping on a cone. Macdonald ended up finishing behind South Korea's Ming Jeong Choi, who came in first, Poland's Natalia Maliszewska, who was second, and China's Chunyu Qu, third.

Macdonald has done well in the past in that distance. She earned a silver and a bronze medal in the 500m during the 2016-2017 World Cup season.

“I was third and trying to set things up to move into second place but unfortunately, there was a contact and my timing wasn't quite right, and that opened the door so that (Qu) could pass me,” explained Jamie Macdonald. “So I was looking for more in that race, I felt like I had it in me. There's some disappointment in that respect, although overall I'm very happy to have made the A final and finished fourth.”

After the first day of final rounds, Kim Boutin was the top Canadian on the women's side in provisional overall standings with fourth place (18 points). Choi is first (68 points), followed by her teammate Suk Hee Shim and Maliszewska with both 21 points. Jamie Macdonald is seventh (eight points) and St-Gelais, 15th.

Tough day for Girard and St-Gelais
Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, had a tough day, as he was penalized in the 1500m A final and was eliminated at the quarterfinal stage of the 500m, as he had to settle for third place in his heat. Girard was the silver medalist in the 1500m at last year's World Championships and fourth in that distance at last month's Olympics, while in the 500m, he was fourth at the Olympics as well as at last year's World Championships.

“In the 1500m final, I tried to position myself well, but I wasn't able to do the right thing at the right time,” said Samuel Girard. “I made some mistakes and I would have liked to do better, but I'll take away the positive from this –- I learned some things and will try to apply it tomorrow.”

“In the 500m, I realized I had a huge scratch on my blade, which prevented me from using it at a 100 percent rate. It affected my line when came time to protect my position.”

Eliminated from contention in the 1500m event on Friday, Marianne St-Gelais from Saint-Félicien, QC, was penalized in the 500m semifinals on Saturday after she fell while trying to overtake the second-place skater. She therefore was eliminated.

“I had to overtake in order to finish among the top two and qualify for the A final, and I knew I had to do it before she made her move towards the end of the race. I may have been too aggressive out there,” said Marianne St-Gelais. “But at the same time, I did what I needed to do, I followed the plan, which was to have a good start and not hesitate when openings come up.”

Girard and St-Gelais will have a chance to finish the weekend on a good note as they have both qualified for the 1000m final rounds, set to take place on Sunday.

In Saturday's relay semifinals, both Canadian teams qualified for Sunday's A finals. On the men's side, Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer from Boucherville, QC, and Pascal Dion of Montreal won their heat while on the women's side, Kim Boutin, Jamie Macdonald, Valérie Maltais from Saguenay, QC, and Kasandra Bradette of Saint-Félicien, QC, came in second place.

The 1000m final rounds will take place on Sunday, after which the top eight skaters per gender in overall standings will have the opportunity to earn additional points by taking part in the 3000m super final. World championship titles will be awarded to the winner of each event and to the skaters who finish first in the men's and women's overall standings.

On CBC Sports
Sunday's action will be broadcast live on CBC from 4 pm to 5 pm (ET) as part of the weekly CBC Sports program Road To The Olympic Games. In addition, CBC Sports will webcast all the races live at cbcsports.ca as well as on the CBC Sports application for iOS and Android devices.
 
In French, the competition will be broadcast in its entirety live on TVA Sports from 1:30 pm to 5 pm.

More details are available on Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.

TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS

500m W
Jamie Macdonald: 4th in A final (final ranking: 4)
Kim Boutin: fell in A final (final ranking: 5th)
Marianne St-Gelais: penalty in semifinal (final ranking: 8th)

500m M
Samuel Girard: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 9th)
Charles Hamelin: 1st in B final (final ranking: 5th)
Pascal Dion: 1st in his heat in the ranking round (final ranking : 21st)

1500m W
Kim Boutin: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Jamie Macdonald: penalty in ranking round (final ranking: 36th)
Marianne St-Gelais: did not skate in the ranking round (final ranking: 37th)

1500m M
Charles Hamelin: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Samuel Girard: penalized in the A Final (final ranking: 6th)
Pascal Dion: 2nd in his heat in the ranking round (final ranking: 25th)

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

Relay M
Canada: 1st in the semifinals and will take part in the A Final Sunday
(Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Charle Cournoyer, Pascal Dion)

Overall rankings after two events
Women
4. Kim Boutin
7. Jamie Macdonald
15. Marianne St-Gelais

Men
1. Charles Hamelin
9. Samuel Girard
 
More details are available on Speed Skating Canada's website at www.speedskating.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, SSC is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial associations. Speed Skating Canada is committed to Challenge and Inspire Canada to Thrive through the power of Speed Skating. 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. www.speedskating.ca

Speed Skating Canada would like to thank its sponsors:

Premium partner: Intact Insurance
Funding partners: Government of Canada (Sport Canada), Own The Podium, Canadian Olympic Committee
Official On-Ice High Performance Apparel: Li-Ning
Long Track Team Sponsor: KIA
Official Suppliers: Auclair, USANA
Official Technical Equipment Supplier: Nagano Skate
Sport Development Partners: Winsport Canada, Calgary’s Olympic Oval, University of Calgary, Institut national du sport du Québec, Government of Quebec, Canadian Sport Institute-Calgary, City of Montreal, Quebec City, Excellence sportive Québec-Lévis

- 30 -

For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC