NEWS: Canadians take to the podium eight times at ISU Short Track World Cup

Audio (MP3) : Marianne St. Gelais and Charles Hamelin, Olivier Jean, Guillaume Bastille, François-Louis Tremblay (En), François-Louis Tremblay (Fr), Michael Gilday (En), Michael Gilday (Fr), Valerie Maltais, Marie-Eve Drolet, Jessica Hewitt, Gabrielle Waddell, Yves Hamelin Canada wins three gold, three silver and two bronze medals SAGUENAY, Que. – On the final day of ISU World Cup (results web site) in Saguenay, Que., Speed Skating Canada’s short track team took eight medals for a weekend total of 11, including a sweep of the podium in the men’s 1,000-metre race. Over two medal days, Canada won five gold, four silver and two bronze. The highlight of the day was the Canadian men taking all three medals in the 1,000 metres. Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, Que., took first just ahead of teammates Michael Gilday of Yellowknife in second and Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., in third place. Hometown favourite Marianne St. Gelais of St. Félicien, Que., also please her family and friends gathered for her first World Cup event in Saguenay. St. Gelais skated to her second gold of the weekend, having won the first 500-metre race on Saturday. Marie-Ève Drolet of Laterrière, Que., was also in the final, but finished just off the podium in fourth place. Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., won the C final to take a ninth overall ranking. In the men’s 500-metre today, Canada again took the two first spots with François-Louis Tremblay from Alma, Que., winning gold and Guillaume Bastille from Rivière-du-Loup, Que., taking silver. François Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, Que., was penalized in the semifinals and eliminated. Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., was the only Canadian woman in the 500-metre final, finishing fourth. Arianna Fontana of Italy took the gold medal. Teammates Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., was penalized in the B final for an eighth place finish. Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., final ranking was 17th after being penalized in her quarterfinal race. The men’s and women’s relay teams both took the podium. Represented by the four local women – Drolet, Maltais, St. Gelais and Truchon – they took the silver medal behind China and ahead of Japan. Gilday, Jean, Tremblay and Charles Hamelin took the bronze medal despite a fall by Hamelin. They moved from fourth to third after the Netherlands was penalized. With today’s medals, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance is now up to $14,000 (8 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each medal win. Last season, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes. - end -