Marianne St-Gelais claimed her first world championship title after winning the 1500m, then followed up with a 500m silver at the ISU Short Track World Championships in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday.
After a strong ISU World Cup season, St-Gelais not only won Canada’s first medal in Seoul, but became the 1500m World Champion after racing to gold in two minutes, 34.775 seconds. The Canadian finished ahead of Minjeong Choi of Korea who finished second in a time of 2:34.760. Elise Christie from Great Britain finished third in 2:34.656.
“I went on the podium, they gave me my medal and all that, but it seems that it still didn’t dawn on me for a big part of the day,” St-Gelais told Speed Skating Canada. “But it turned out to be a good thing, I had to keep my emotions in check for a while anyway because I had another race to do.”
St-Gelais followed up her gold medal performance with another podium finish in the 500m. The Canadian finished second in a time of 43.317s between Chinese speed skaters Fan Kexin (43.258s) and Qu Chunyu (43.389s) who finished first and third respectively.
This was St-Gelais’ first gold and silver World Championships medals. The Canadian has made it onto a World Championships podium twice before, winning bronze in the 1500m in 2013 and the 500m in 2010. St-Gelais’ strong performance on Saturday places her in a good position to win the overall 2016 world title on Sunday.
“I won’t change anything to my game plan or my routine,” said Marianne St-Gelais about the task that lies ahead for her on Sunday. “I won’t be thinking about the hat I’m now wearing, I’ll just focus on what I have to do on the ice. I will try to earn the most points possible in the 1000m to give myself a wider margin after that in the 3000m.”
St-Gelais’ victory was Canada’s first female speed skating world championship title since 2007 when Kalyna Roberge won the 500m.