Marianne St-Gelais wins second gold medal at ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage in Germany
Speed Skating Canada – Canada collects four more medals Sunday in Dresden
Dresden, Germany, February 5, 2017 – Marianne St-Gelais won her second gold medal of the weekend at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating stage held in Dresden, Germany, as she won Sunday’s 500m final on a day where Canada stepped onto the podium four times.
Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., joined St-Gelais on the podium in the 500m women’s event by earning bronze, while Valérie Maltais of Saguenay, QC, also finished third, this time in the second 1500m race scheduled over the weekend. St-Gelais, Maltais, Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, and Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Félicien, QC, then worked together to collect bronze in the women’s relay.
Canada therefore won a total of eight medals in Dresden, including four gold. That is the team’s highest total since the World Cup stage that was held last year in that same city.
After winning the women’s 1000m on Saturday, Marianne St-Gelais earned her eighth individual medal – her third gold – in 10 individual events and five World Cup stages so far this season.
In Sunday’s 500m final, in which three Canadian skaters took part, St-Gelais won it ahead of South Korea’s Ye Jin Kim and her Canadian teammate Jamie Macdonald. Kasandra Bradette finished fourth after a fall that was caused by Italy’s Arianne Fontana, who was penalized for the incident.
“I’m satisfied with how my weekend went. Today, I had a great 500m. I thought a lot about the technical points that will help me keep my position and keep my focus level up, so that I can keep going though round after round. I was able to maintain a very high level of concentration in both events this weekend, technically and tactically, and it paid off,” said Marianne St-Gelais who, along with Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer and Samuel Girard, will travel back to Canada this week to finetune her preparation for the World Championships.
“I’m confident looking towards the World Championships, but I realize that some of the top skaters weren’t here this weekend. Still, in terms of my technical points, this weekend’s results have boosted my confidence level,” she said.
For Jamie Macdonald, this was her first time on the podium since she earned a silver medal in the 500m held at the first World Cup stage of the season in Calgary.
“I’m very happy with my race. I had a bad start but I got a little lucky later in the race. I tried to close the gap the whole time and I’m definitively happy with the result,” said Jamie Macdonald.
Fourth place was Kasandra Bradette’s best result since the World Cup in Calgary, where she also finished fourth in the 500m event.
“I’m disappointed with the result because I wanted a medal. That’s two finals now that I take part in, and I still don’t have my top-3 result yet,” said Kasandra Bradette. “In the final, things didn’t go like I would have wanted, for instance when I fell during the last lap. Still, I battled hard all race long and I was even in second place at some point, but I should have been more aware. During the last lap, Arianna Fontana went for it and brought me down with her. Still, I’m satisfied with how my day went overall.”
In Sunday’s 1500m, Valérie Maltais earned her second bronze medal of the weekend. Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands won gold, followed by South Korea’s Ah Rum Noh. Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, QC, came in fifth.
Maltais therefore won two medals at the same World Cup stage for the first time since last year’s stage held in Shanghai.
“Today’s bronze medal is a little less satisfying than yesterday’s,” said Valérie Maltais. “I was happy to be on the podium, but I felt that I could have moved up at the expense of Suzanne Schulting, who was first, but I stayed stuck behind her. I’m disappointed because I feel I could have done better.”
“I come out of this weekend with several positives. I found a high level of energy and felt good out there on the ice. I’m healthy and in shape, and I’m happy with my weekend,” added Maltais.
Maltais, Boutin, St-Gelais and Bradette then allowed the Canadian women’s relay to step on the podium for a third straight World Cup stage, as they collected bronze. They finished behind the Netherlands and Italy. Marie-Ève Drolet from Saguenay, QC, also skated in earlier rounds.
“I’m a little bit disappointed about the relay,” said Marianne St-Gelais. “We were having a good race and doing different things. At the present time, it harms us more often than it makes us win, but we’re in the process of finding our pattern and eventually, it will pay off.”
Charles Hamelin, the top Canadian on the men’s side
In the men’s 500m, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, ended up at the foot of the podium as he finished fourth behind Hungary’s Shaolin Liu and Shaoang Liu, who were first and third, and South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang, the silver medalist.
“Today was like a roller coaster,” said Charles Hamelin, who won gold in Saturday’s 1500m. “I reached my goal of qualifying for the final, but I didn’t feel as good as I would have hoped for, and I’m a bit disappointed about that. I didn’t feel good out there today. After I fell following the first start, my blades weren’t quite right. It was a fast race and I wasn’t able to keep up in the turns. I then had to fight just to keep up with the rest of the group.”
Pascal Dion of Montreal finished sixth overall in the 500m by qualifying for the B final, which was not held because only two skaters qualified for it.
In Sunday’s 1500m, Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, was the top Canadian as he won the B final. François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, finished second behind Cournoyer.
In the men’s relay, Charles Hamelin, Cournoyer, Dion and Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, won the B final just ahead of Italy.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS
Marianne St-Gelais: gold medal (final ranking: 1)
Jamie Macdonald: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Kasandra Bradette: 4th in the A final (final ranking: 4)
Charles Hamelin: 4th in the A final (final ranking: 4)
Pascal Dion: qualified for the B final which wasn’t presented because of only two skaters (final ranking: 6)
Samuel Girard: blades problems in the quarterfinals and eliminated (final ranking: 23)
1500m (2) W
Valérie Maltais: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
Kim Boutin: 5th in the A final (final ranking: 5)
Marie-Ève Drolet: did not take part in the final rounds (final ranking: 21)
1500m (2) M
Charle Cournoyer: 1st in the B final (final ranking: 8)
François Hamelin: 2nd in the B final (final ranking: 9)
Guillaume Bastille: 7th in the semifinals and eliminated (final ranking: 18)
Canada: bronze medal (final ranking: 3)
(Marie-Ève Drolet, Valérie Maltais, Marianne St-Gelais, Kasandra Bradette, Kim Boutin)
Canada: 1st in the B final (final ranking: 5)
(Guillaume Bastille, 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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