Short track season starts with five medals for Canada
The short track speed skating season started with five medals for Canada where Marianne St-Gelais led the way with a gold and a pair of bronze in Salt Lake City.
The 2002 Winter Games oval was the first of six World Cup stops, where St-Gelais (timed at 1:32.286) won gold in the women’s 1000m by a hair ahead of Minjeong Choi of South Korea (1:32.339) on Saturday. Fan Kexin of China, the Sochi 2014 silver medallist, took bronze.
St-Gelais then won bronze in the 500m the next day, and returned to the podium later in women’s relay.
Valérie Maltais won a second individual bronze medal for Canada in the women’s 1500m final. Then Maltais joined St. Gelais, Kasandra Bradette and Kim Boutin to set a national relay record of 4:07.308 in the 3000m combined with third place finish behind South Korea and China.
Charles Hamelin’s won a silver medal in the men’s 1500m behind the 2013 World Champion, South Korea’s Sin Da-Woon.
In a Speed Skating Canada release St-Gelais said she felt she was “back in the game” after not being satisfied in the previous two seasons. “It feels really good to get the season off to a great start.”
Hamelin, the Olympic champion in the 1500m, praised his teammates for gate crashing the final where three of them appeared, “something I’ve really seen happen in my career” the Canadian said. He also complimented Korea’s Sin for a tactical victory in playing “the trap well at the end of the race” with another Korean, Lee Jung-Su, taking bronze.
It’ll be a homecoming for Team Canada in the second World Cup of the season from November 14-16 in Montreal. In December, the Asian leg of the tour takes the team to China and South Korea, before visiting Europe in February with hosts Germany and Turkey.
The World Championships take place in Moscow, Russia in March of 2015.