Canadians St-Gelais, Boutin, Hamelin golden at short track World Cup

Canadians golden at short track World Cup

DRESDEN, Germany — Marianne St-Gelais, Kim Boutin and Charles Hamelin each won gold medals and Valerie Maltais won bronze on Saturday at an ISU short track speedskating World Cup event.

St-Gelais of Saint-Felicien, Que., finished first in the women’s 1,000 metres two spots ahead of Maltais of Saguenay, Que. Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., won their respective 1,500-metre races.

St-Gelais earned her seventh individual medal in five World Cup stages so far this season, beating Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands and teammate Maltais.

“It was a good fight with Suzanne Schulting. I wanted to be in a situation where she would be in front of me because I know she is good to do tracks and I don’t want to be surprised in a couple of weeks at the World Championships,” St-Gelais said.

Maltais’s bronze was her first individual medal of the season. 

Boutin topped her best career result — a 1,500 silver medal in Montreal in 2015 — to finish ahead of Dutch skater Rianne de Vries and Britain’s Charlotte Gilmartin.

It was also the 22-year-old skater’s second podium finish of the season and her second straight after collecting bronze in South Korea in December.

“My coach and I worked a lot on new things,” said Boutin. “All race long, this is what I tried to do, including different strategies which made for a great last portion to the race. I wanted to be in the top four with six laps to go. To overtake one by one and to be in the first place at the end was the goal.”

Hamelin finished ahead of South Korea’s Kyung Hwan Hong and Russia’s Alexander Shulginov for his third individual medal of the season and second gold. Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., finished fourth.

Charles Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., won the B final of the men’s 1,000 to finish fifth overall while Montreal’s Pascal Dion finished fifth in the B final of the men’s 1,500.

In the women’s relay, Maltais, St-Gelais, Boutin and Kasandra Bradette won their semifinal heat to qualify for Sunday’s A final. Canada will be skating against Italy, Japan and the Netherlands.

On the men’s side, Hamelin, Cournoyer, Girard and Dion were third in their semifinal heat, behind Hungary and South Korea. Canada will skate in Sunday’s B final.

The Canadian Press

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