Canada covered in gold, Saturday, at ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held in Germany
Speed Skating Canada – Dresden, Germany, February 4, 2017 – Canada won four medals, including three gold, Saturday, at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held in Dresden, Germany, as Kim Boutin and Charles Hamelin each won their respective 1500m races, while Marianne St-Gelais finished first in the women’s 1000m. St-Gelais was accompanied on the podium by Valérie Maltais, who earned a bronze medal.
The Canadian team therefore came out on top in three of the four medal events scheduled Saturday. Dresden seems to bring good fortune to Canadian skaters; the last time they won at least three gold medals over one single stage was in that same German city, a year ago.
Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, earned the very first World Cup win of her career as she collected gold on Saturday in the first of two 1500m events slated for the weekend.
Placed first at the starting line, Boutin found herself fourth at some point in the race, but was able to overtake her opponents and finish ahead of Dutch skater Rianne de Vries and Great Britain’s Charlotte Gilmartin.
Kim Boutin’s top career result so far had been a silver medal, which she won in the 1500m at the World Cup stage held in Montreal in October of 2015.
It was also the 22-year-old skater’s second podium finish of the season, her second straight after she collected bronze in Gangneung, South Korea, in December.
“My coach and I worked a lot on new things. All race long, this is what I tried to do, including different strategies which made for a great last portion to the race, said Kim Boutin. I wanted to be in the top four with six laps to go. To overtake one by one and to be in the first place at the end was the goal.”
In the men’s 1500m, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, finished ahead of South Korea’s Kyung Hwan Hong and Russia’s Alexander Shulginov to also win gold. Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, ended up fourth.
This is Charles Hamelin’s third individual medal of the season, his second gold. He also came out on top in the second of two 1000m events held in Gangneung.
“This is my third gold medal in my last three races here in Dresden. It’s definitively a great destination for me!”, said Charles Hamelin.
“I knew there were big names in the final with Shaolin Liu, Samuel Girard and the new kid from Russia Alexander Shulginov, who is pretty good in the 1500m, added Hamelin. I had to make sure not to use too much energy early in the race. By being in front for the major part of the race, I was able to stay away of the chaos behind me. When I started to accelerate for the last two laps, I didn’t know I had such a lead on the second skater. It’s great to see and to feel like that. It gave me a lot of confidence to come up with a race like that. I can’t wait for the 500m tomorrow.”
“A series of bad decisions made me lose some positions, including when I forced things maybe a little bit too much when I tried to block a South Korean, explained Samuel Girard. I’m still happy and we’re back on the right track heading towards the World Championships.”
Two Canadians on the podium in the women’s 1000m
In the women’s 1000m, Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, earned her seventh individual medal in five World Cup stages so far this season after winning Saturday’s race in that distance.
It was her second win this season, which she registered after a hard-fought battle with Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands.
“It was a good fight with Suzanne Schulting. I wanted to be in a situation where she would be in front of me because I know she is good to do tracks and I don’t want to be surprised in a couple of weeks at the World Championships”, explained Marianne St-Gelais.
“For sure the caliber here is not that high and there are things that are important that I do well since I will not have a second chance next week”, said St-Gelais, referring to the absence of some skaters, including Min Jeong Choi and Elise Christie, and to the fact she will not take part in the last World Cup of the season next week. My execution was very successful and it gave me a fast time. It’s tough to celebrate as if everyone was there, but there are still good things that I did in that race that I will keep in mind.”
For her part, Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, QC, collected her first individual medal this season as she came up with bronze.
“It was a great race but above all, it was a great day, including the way I managed my race overall, said Valérie Maltais. The focus was on learning to do good moves. I did what I wanted to do while doing some mistakes, but it’s always in the spirit of learning.”
In the men’s 1000m, Charles Cournoyer from Boucherville, QC, won the B final to finish fifth overall while, in the Saturday’s men’s 1500m, Pascal Dion from Montreal, QC, finished fifth in the B final.
In the women’s relay, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais, Kasandra Bradette and Kim Boutin won their semifinal heat to qualify for Sunday’s A final. Canada will be skating against Italy, Japan and the Netherlands.
On the men’s side, Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Samuel Girard and Pascal Dion were third in their semifinal heat, behind Hungary and South Korea. Canada will skate in Sunday’s B final.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
Marianne St-Gelais: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Valérie Maltais: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Jamie Macdonald: fifth in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 9)
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the B final (final ranking: 5)
François Hamelin: fifth in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 9)
Guillaume Bastille: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 14)
1500m (1) W
Kim Boutin: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Kasandra Bradette: 5th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 13)
Marie-Ève Drolet: fall in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 20)
1500m (1) M
Charles Hamelin: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Samuel Girard: 4th in the A final (final ranking: 4)
Pascal Dion: 5th in the B final (final ranking: 10)
Canada: 1st in the semifinals and will take part in the A Final Sunday
(Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais, Kasandra Bradette, Kim Boutin)
Canada: 3rd in the semifinals and will take part in the B Final Sunday
(Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Samuel Girard, Pascal Dion)
More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.
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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 14,000 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.
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