First day of the fall World Cups short track selections

First day of the fall World Cups short track selections in Calgary
Valérie Maltais and Charles Hamelin each win the first 500-metre and 1,500-metres races

CALGARY – Speed Skating Canada’s fall World Cups short track selections got underway today at the Olympic Oval in Calgary as the top 16 male and 16 female skaters competed in the 500- and 1,500-metre distances. Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., each won the first 500-metre and 1,500-metre races of the weekend. (Photo right: Valérie Maltais, photo by Dave Holland)

The 22-year-old Maltais won the 500-metre final in 43.479 seconds. Quebec’s Valérie Lambert took second place, with B.C.’s Jessica Hewitt taking third and Alberta’s Jessica Gregg in the fourth spot.

In the women’s 1,500-metre final, Maltais took first place in a time of two minutes and 23.448 seconds. Quebec skaters took the next fourth positions with Marie-Eve Drolet in second, Vanessa Bélanger-Marceau in third, Caroline Truchon in fourth and Marianne St. Gelais in fifth after falling. Alberta’s Gabrielle Waddell was sixth after getting a penalty.

The 28-year-old Hamelin won the four-man 500-metre final in a time of 40.681 seconds. In a physical final two laps, Charle Cournoyer came up between Olivier Jean and Liam McFarlane to take second place. Jean took third place after losing his stride early on and McFarlane fell in the last lap to place fourth.

Hamelin won the men’s 1,500-metre final in a time of two minutes and 12.241 seconds. Jean took second place, while Michael Gilday of Yellowknife was third. Quebec skaters claimed the next fourth positions in the final: Guillaume Bastille was fourth, Alexandre St. Jean fifth, Vincent Cournoyer sixth and Guillaume Blais-Dufour in seventh place. (Photo left: Charles Hamelin, photo by Dave Holland)

Saturday’s schedule will feature the first 1,000 metres and second 1,500 metres races, and Sunday will showcase the second 500-metre, second 1,000-metre and relay races. The competition starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Admission is free for the three-day competition at The Olympic Oval.

Follow the results on SSC’s Twitter account,

The selections event is used to identify the teams for the first four Samsung ISU World Cups of 2012-13. The first Samsung ISU World Cup Short Track event sees the short track team return to Calgary for international competition, starting Friday, Oct. 19 through to Sunday, Oct. 21. The circuit continues the following weekend with World Cup 2 in Montreal, from Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28.

Results from today’s races (complete results here):

A final 1500 m men: 1st Charles Hamelin (Quebec), 2nd Olivier Jean (Quebec), 3rd Michael Gilday (N.W.T.), 4th Guillaume Bastille (Quebec), 5th Alexandre St. Jean (Quebec), 6th Vincent Cournoyer (Quebec), 7th Guillaume Blais-Dufour (Quebec).
B final 1500 m men: 1st François-Louis Tremblay (Quebec), 2nd Liam McFarlane (Quebec), 3rd Patrick Duffy (Quebec), 4th Jacob McKenzie (Ontario), 5th Pier-Olivier Gagnon (Quebec).
C final 1500 m men: 1st François Hamelin (Quebec), 2nd Rémi Beaulieu (Quebec), 3rd Yoan Gauthier (Quebec), 4th Charle Cournoyer (Quebec).

A final 500 m men: 1st C. Hamelin, 2nd C. Cournoyer, 3rd Jean, 4th McFarlane.
B final 500 m men: 1st Tremblay, 2nd F. Hamelin, 3rd Duffy, 4th Bastille.
C final 500 m men: 1st Blais-Dufour, 2nd St. Jean, 3rd Gilday, 4th Gagnon.
D final 500 m men: 1st Gauthier, 2nd McKenzie, 3rd Beaulieu, 4th V. Cournoyer.

A final 1500 m women: 1st Valérie Maltais (Quebec), 2nd Marie-Eve Drolet (Quebec), 3rd Vanessa Bélanger-Marceau (Quebec), 4th Caroline Truchon (Quebec), 5th (fall) Marianne St. Gelais (Quebec), 6th (fall) Gabrielle Waddell (Alberta).
B final 1500 m women: 1st Jessica Gregg (Alberta), 2nd Jessica Hewitt (Quebec), 3rd Keri Morrison (Ontario), 4th Kasandra Bradette (Quebec), 5th Vicky Labourdette (Quebec), 6th Valérie Lambert (Quebec).
C final 1500 m women: 1st Léa Thibault (Quebec), 2nd Courtney Shmyr (B.C.), 3rd Andrea Do-Duc (Quebec), 4th Audrey Phaneuf (Quebec).

A final 500 m women: 1st Maltais, 2nd Lambert, 3rd Hewitt, 4th Gregg.
B final 500 m women: 1st St. Gelais, 2nd Bradette, 3rd Truchon, 4th Drolet (DNS).
C final 500 m women: 1st Waddell, 2nd Do-Duc, 3rd Bélanger-Marceau, 4th Shmyr.
D final 500 m women: 1st Morrison, 2nd Thibault, 3rd Phaneuf, 4th Labourdette.