Samuel Girard & Jamie Macdonald crowned 2018-19 Canadian Champions in short track speed skating

Charles Hamelin, Pascal Dion, Alyson Charles and Courtney Sarault also find spots on team that will represent Canada on the World Cup circuit

Montreal, September 23, 2018 – Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, Olympic gold medalist in the men’s 1000m, skated to a first-place finish in the same event on Sunday to earn the title of 2018 Canadian Short Track Champion. Girard finished fourth or better in every race during the competition, finding the podium four times and winning two finals.

“Consistent performance throughout the weekend – that’s really what I was aiming for,” explained Girard after his win. “It was super fun. The guys have a good chemistry and we work together to be the best team possible. We saw that on the ice today.”

Olympian Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, BC also earned four podium finishes during the event at Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal, QC, en route to her own Canadian Champion title on the women’s side.

“I had a really good weekend,” said Macdonald Sunday afternoon. “I only trained on ice for four weeks leading up to this competition, so I surprised myself for sure. It goes to show that all of the work I’ve done in the past helped racing come back easily to me. I’m looking forward to this season.”

During the Championships, all participants skated twice in each of the scheduled distances, namely the 500m, 1000m and 1500m events. Girard and Macdonald collected the most total points based on the results of their top two distances to capture the title of Canadian Champion.

Four-time Olympian and short track veteran Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC captured second place on the men’s side. After missing the podium on day one of competition, he found himself among the top three skaters in every race on Saturday and Sunday. Pascal Dion of Montreal, QC completed the podium.

Hamelin was happy with his result. “It was a great weekend. It started a bit more slowly than I would have liked, but after that I surprised myself. I couldn’t ask for more than that. I earned my place on the World Cup team – mission accomplished.”

On the women’s side, Alyson Charles of Montreal, QC earned the runner-up position after finding the podium four times during the Championships. Rounding out the top three was last year’s triple-medalist at the ISU World Junior Championships, Courtney Sarault of Moncton, NB.

World Cup team selection

These six skaters will represent Canada as part of the racing pool for the 2018-19 season, from which each World Cup and World Championships team will be selected. They will be joined by an additional five athletes per gender, to be determined as follows:

  • Within each gender, the next three highest ranked skaters from the Canadian Championships, based on total points earned in their two best distances at the event.
  • One position will be filled based on either a bye request or the seventh ranking from the Championships.
  • One position per gender will be a discretionary choice made by the coaches and training team.

The complete racing pool will be announced in the coming weeks, as the team prepares for the first World Cup of the season, set to take place at Calgary’s Olympic Oval from November 2-4. More information and tickets for this event are available at https://oval.ucalgary.ca/worldcup.

Individual event results on Sunday

In Sunday’s individual distance events, Charles earned first place in the second women’s 500m of the Championships. Alison Desmarais of Vanderhoof, BC and Sarault completed the podium in that order. In the women’s 1000m, Sarault skated to a win, followed by Macdonald and Audrey Phaneuf of Saint-Hyacinthe, QC.

On the men’s side, Hamelin led the pack in the 500m distance. Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, QC came in second place for his first podium finish of the event, while Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC rounded out the podium. In the men’s 1000m, Girard’s winning skate was followed closely by Dubois in second and Hamelin in third.

Full results for the competition are available at www.speedskating.ca.