Canada wins five medals Saturday at ISU World Cup Short Track stage in South Korea
Speed Skating Canada – Gangneung, South Korea, December 17, 2016 – Marianne St-Gelais and Kim Boutin won the silver and bronze medals in the women’s 1500m, as Pascal Dion and Patrick Duffy subsequently did in the men’s 1000m (1), while Marie-Ève Drolet earned bronze in the women’s 1000m (1) to give Canada five medals, Saturday, at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held until Sunday in Gangneung, South Korea.
In the women’s 1500m, Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, and Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, respectively won silver and bronze. Gold went to South Korea’s Suk Hee Shim.
“I got into it pretty quickly, in the sense that we wanted to win together, do things and succeed together. It had been a while since I had raced (in a final) with a teammate!,” said St-Gelais, who by the same token won her sixth medal in seven events so far this World Cup season.
“I was proud of what Kim was doing during the race. At the end, I didn’t want to risk anything and, at the same time, I wanted to help the situation. I overtook wide on her. I knew I wouldn’t do anything that would harm her. I thought we would be able to get to the South Korean at the finish line, but we didn’t. Still, we finished second and third. It’s a great podium result and I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished – especially considering this is the test event (for the 2018 Olympics). We can have high hopes for the future.”
Kim Boutin was happy about winning her first individual medal since the first World Cup stage of the 2015-2016 season, held in Montreal, especially considering she earned it on the day after celebrating her birthday. She turned 22 on Friday.
“The race gave me a good boost of confidence, because it’s my first medal since I stopped for a little while last season,” she pointed out. “To be on the podium with Marianne, it brought back some good memories. We raced well and I’m happy about that.”
First career medal for Pascal Dion
Canada then put two more skaters on the podium, this time in the first men’s 1000m slated for the weekend, as Pascal Dion of Montreal, QC, won the silver medal, followed by Patrick Duffy of Oakville, ON. Nurbergen Zhumagaziyev, from Kazakhstan, won the race.
This is Dion’s first ever individual medal, as he is skating in his sixth career World Cup stage.
“Friday was really an exceptional day for me because I was at my best in all my races,” said Pascal Dion. “And in today’s final, I had nothing but fun racing and everything fell into place. I was able to position myself well and I raced well. I think that was one of my best races ever. It was also great fun to share the podium with another Canadian!”
For Patrick Duffy, this is his first individual medal since World Cup #6 in 2015-2016, which was held in Turkey.
“The best way I can describe this medal is that’s it’s the bee’s knees,” said Patrick Duffy. “It feels pretty great. It was quite shocking to finish third, to be honest. I couldn’t ask for a better finish, having Pascal on the podium with me. I had to fend off three South Koreans over the last two laps, which was quite tough to do. I thought I was going to be consumed by the Korean train, but it ended up for the better. I was sharp all day in finding the right tracks and defending against other skaters. I think I just executed pretty well and I couldn’t be happier.”
In the women’s 1000m, Marie-Ève Drolet of Saguenay, Chicoutimi borough, QC, won bronze and therefore collected her second individual medal at the World Cup level since her return on the international scene.
Drolet finished behind Great Britain’s Elise Christie and South Korea’s Min Jeong Choi, who respectively earned gold and silver.
“This is the first 1000m I raced this World Cup season, so it certainly gives me confidence,” said Marie-Ève Drolet. “My goal in this distance was a top-8 result, so I can say that’s been fully accomplished! I’m quite satisfied and I can’t wait for my next race on Sunday.”
Two other Canadian skaters qualified for B finals. In the men’s 1500m, Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, was first while Jamie Macdonald, of Fort St. James, B.C., was fourth in the B final of the women’s 1000m (1).
In the relay semifinals, Marie-Ève Drolet, Marianne St-Gelais, Kim Boutin and Kasandra Bradette of Saint-Félicien, QC, were second in their heat and therefore qualified for Sunday’s A final.
Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Pascal Dion and Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, also earned Canada a spot in the A final on the men’s side, this time by being advanced into the final after the Netherlands were penalized.
Aside from the relay finals, the repechage heats and final rounds in the second 1000m event and in the 500m will take place on Sunday.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
1000m (1) W
Marie-Ève Drolet: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Jamie Macdonald: 4th in the B Final (final ranking: 8)
Kasandra Bradette: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 11)
1000m (1) M
Pascal Dion: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Patrick Duffy: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
François Hamelin: penalty in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 45)
Marianne St-Gelais: silver medal (final ranking: 2)
Kim Boutin: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Valérie Maltais: 7th in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 19)
Charle Cournoyer: first in the B Final (final ranking: 8)
Charles Hamelin: 8th in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 22)
Samuel Girard: penalty in the heats and eliminated (final ranking: 49)
Canada: 2nd in the semifinals and will take part in the A Final Sunday
(Marie-Ève Drolet, Marianne St-Gelais, Kasandra Bradette, Kim Boutin)
Canada: 3rd in the semifinals but advanced in the A Final which will be held 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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