Hamelin & St-Gelais both earn a silver medal at short track World Cup in Shanghai

Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais both added a silver medal to their collection, Saturday, at the ISU short track speed skating World Cup, as the veteran skater from Sainte-Julie, Quebec, finished second in the men's 1500m, as did the athlete from Saint-Félicien, Quebec, in the first women's 500m event of the weekend.

Hamelin won his second medal of the 2014-15 World Cup season, after earning silver in the 1500m raced in Salt Lake City, as part of the first weekend of the year. St-Gelais, for her part, collected her fourth individual medal of the season, her third in a 500m event in as many World Cup weekends so far. She won the bronze in that distance in Salt Lake City, and silver in Montreal. She also won gold in the women's 1000m in Salt Lake City.

Saturday in Shanghai, St-Gelais finished second behind China's Fan Kexin, who won in 43.272 seconds, compared to a time of 43.361 for the Canadian skater. South Korea's Kim Alang was third in 43.458.

“I wanted to try to do something to overtake the Chinese skater, but I still can't find that 'switch', it seems, that would allow me to react at the right time”, said St-Gelais. “I thought about it, I saw the openings and I adapted my line to be able to do it, but I wasn't able to take advantage of it.”

“But I was right there, I was able to stay with her. I just need to find a way to push it a little more.”

Hamelin was second behind South Korea's Sin Da Woon, who won it in two minutes and 16.943 seconds, ahead of the Canadian's time of 2:17.041. John-Henry Krueger, of the United States, was third in 2:17.169.

“I skated well in the final, I was able to manage my energy level well”, said Hamelin. “The Korean skater was in front with four laps to go and he was able to finish it off with strong skating, while I had just enough legs to be able to stay with him. So I mainly worked on protecting my position.”

“And in the semi-final before, there was a lot of action and I was in the middle of it”, added Hamelin. “I was able to overtake several skaters and end up in front, to finally win it.”

Hamelin also found himself in the middle of an eventful race in the men's relay, along with teammates Charle Cournoyer, Patrick Duffy and Samuel Girard. The Canadian four finished first of their heat to earn a spot in Sunday's A final, but without an official time, as there was an incident between the Hungarian and Chinese teams.

“We were in control of the race when the Hungarians and the Chinese got tangled up. Some skaters fell and there was an injury”, explained Hamelin. “We were expecting to start the race over when someone saw there was a wire coming out of the ice (at the finish line). They gave us a spot in the A final without racing again, but the guys would have had the legs to do the race over if they would have asked us to.”

“No matter, we'll take it, because it's been a while since we've been in a A final.”

Canada will be taking part in its first men's relay A final in a ISU international competition since the World Cup held in Torino, Italy, on Dec. 21, 2013. The Canadian team won gold that day.

The Canadian women's relay team also moved on to Sunday's A final in Shanghai, after finishing second in their heat in Saturday's semi-final. The four skaters who raced were St-Gelais, Kim Boutin, Joanie Gervais and Namasthée Harris-Gauthier.

Aside from Hamelin and St-Gelais, no other Canadian skater was able to qualify for a final in the A group, as Canada is comprised of a majority of skaters who have little international experience. Most are taking part in their first World Cup season, or even participating in their first career World Cup this weekend.

On the men's side, Patrick Duffy, from Oakville, Ont., was second in the 1500m B final to finish 8th overall, while Samuel Girard, of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., followed by one rank.

Charle Cournoyer was eliminated in the quarterfinals in the first men's 500m of the weekend. The skater from Boucherville, Quebec, is skating in his first World Cup of the season, after taking the time to recuperate from a surgery to both shoulders and a broken bone to the foot.

Kasandra Bradette, from Saint-Félicien, Que., finished 5th in the women's 1500m B final for 11th place overall, one place ahead of Joanie Gervais, from Sagenay, Que. In the women's 500m, Kim Boutin, of Sherbrooke, Que., was eliminated in the quarterfinals and ended up 9th, while Audrey Phaneuf, of Boucherville, Que., was unable to reach the quarterfinals after advancing to the repechage semi-finals. Phaneuf is skating in her very first World Cup.

Sunday, the men's and women's 1000m races will be held, as well as two other 500m races, in addition to the two relay finals.

Hamelin and Girard will be taking part in the men's 1000m starting with the quarterfinals, while St-Gelais and Boutin will do the same in the women's 1000m. Montreal's Namasthée Harris-Gauthier and Olympian François Hamelin will take part in the repechage heats in the 1000m.

Cournoyer and Duffy will kick off their day of races in the 500m quarterfinals, Sunday afternoon, as will Bradette on the women's side. William Preudhomme, Gervais and Phaneuf will try to join them by going through the repechage heats.

Today’s Canadian results:
500m (1) M:
-Charle Cournoyer: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (overall ranking: 11)

1500m M:
-Charles Hamelin: silver medal
-Patrick Duffy: 2nd in the B final (overall ranking: 8)
-Samuel Girard: 3rd in the B final (overall ranking: 9)
Men Relay
1st in the semi-finals and qualified for the A final Sunday (Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Patrick Duffy, Samuel Girard)
500m (1) W
-Marianne St-Gelais: silver medal
-Kim Boutin: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (overall ranking: 9)
-Audrey Phaneuf: 2nd in the repechage semi-finals and eliminated (overall ranking: 17)
1500m W
-Kasandra Bradettes: 5th in the B final (overall ranking: 11)
-Joanie Gervais: 6th in the B final (overall ranking: 12)

Women Relay
2nd in the semi-finals and qualified for the A final Sunday (Marianne St-Gelais, Kim Boutin, Joanie Gervais, Namasthée Harris-Gauthier)

More information, including the complete schedule, can be found through 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 13,000 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 sponsor Intact Insurance, 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
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Jeff MacKinnon   
Coordinator, Media and Communications Services – long track
Speed Skating Canada
Email: jmackinnon@speedskating.ca
Phone: 403-860-9525
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
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