Updated: September 23, 2015
With September waning winter athletes are turning their focus to autumn competition.
Short track speed skating is the among the first sports to begin World Cup level events, and the Canadian team has been partially chosen based on a selection competition last weekend.
FIRST LIST: Olympic veteran Charles Hamelin and national team sophomore Samuel Girard are booked for the initial four World Cups of the season. Olympians Marianne St-Gelais and Valérie Maltais combine with rising star Kim Boutin for the women’s team.
Maltais competed in rollers sports speed skating at TO2015
All earned their spots based on points from the selection races in Montreal over the weekend.
It’s also a unique season, the first two stops are in Canada, Montreal then Toronto.
“Following a great summer of training which translated to the performances I had over the weekend, I can’t wait to get back to international competition.” – Marianne St-Gelais
Despite earning enough points, two-time Olympian Olivier Jean has decided at the age of 31 to skip the first half of the season to train for long track speed skating. His goal of qualifying for PyeongChang 2018 as a long tracker was slightly derailed by a summer bike accident.
Hamelin clearly savoured the last of his summer
“I’m already looking to the 2018 Olympic Games and that is why, during last weekend’s trials, I tried new strategies in order to keep improving,” said Charles Hamelin, who has four Olympic medals. Canada has one of the most competitive short track teams in the world, amassing 28 World Cup medals throughout 2014-15.
The remaining three spots on each of the men’s and women’s teams will be named in the coming weeks. These selections are up to the coaches. Olympic medallists François Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, and Guillaume Bastille would be potential choices, and for the women a more youthful mix perhaps including some names from last season’s team.
The World Cup short track campaign opens in Montreal between October 30th and November 1st before moving to Toronto the following week. World Cups #3 and #4 are in Nagoya, Japan and Shanghai, China respectively.