DORDRECHT, Netherlands — Marianne St-Gelais and Samuel Girard each won gold in their 500-metre events as Canada won five medals on Saturday at a short-track speedskating World Cup.
Kim Boutin took home silver in the 500 metres, while Valerie Maltais earned silver and Charles Hamelin, bronze, in their 1,500-metre events.
In the women’s 500, St-Gelais from Saint-Felicien, Que., and Boutin from Sherbrooke, Que., respectively took first and second place, as they had in the semifinals. Italy’s Martina Valcepina was third.
"I felt good, and I’ve felt good ever since qualifying started on Thursday," said St-Gelais, who earned her first podium finish this season in an individual event, after skating only in one event last week in Hungary during the first stage of the World Cup. "After missing the Olympic trials, the last few weeks were hard on me physically and mentally, but we also made some important decisions, so this medal feels good because it shows that we made the right decisions and that we made the right adjustments."
It was Boutin’s first career medal in the 500-metre distance at the World Cup level. Her best result so far had been a fourth-place finish in the B final at the Montreal stage in the fall of 2014.
"That was my first A final and my first medal, so that makes for a very good day," said Boutin. "This is a distance in which I haven’t staked very often at the World Cup level, so it bodes well for the upcoming Olympics."
On the men’s side, Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., earned his first individual medal on the World Cup circuit this season. He beat the Netherlands’ Sjinkie Knegt and South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang.
Maltais, from Saguenay, Que., and Charles Hamelin, from Sainte-Julie, Que., both earned their first medal of the 2017-2018 season, this time in the 1,500 metres.
Maltais won silver, while Boutin finished fifth and Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., was sixth in the women’s 1,500. Two South Koreans skated to a podium finish, i.e. Min Jeong Choi (gold) and Suk Hee Shim (bronze).
In the men’s 1,500 metres, Hamelin earned bronze, behind South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang and Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu). Girard initially finished at the foot of the podium, in fourth spot, but he was issued a penalty that pushed him back to sixth and last place.
In the women’s relay, Canada qualified for the A final after Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Felicien, Macdonald, Maltais and St-Gelais finished second in their semifinal heat on Saturday, behind South Korea. The two countries will face each other once again on Sunday in a final that will also include China and the Netherlands.
In the men’s relay, Charle Cournoyer from Boucherville, Que., Girard, Hamelin and Montreal’s Pascal Dion won their semifinal heat, ahead of the Dutch and Hungarian skaters, to find themselves in Sunday’s final against the Netherlands, Japan, Russia and China. The Chinese were advanced to the A final after the South Koreans were penalized.