ROTTERDAM, Netherlands â€” Marianne St-Gelais finished second overall in the women’s standings while Samuel Girard was third overall and Charles Hamelin earned bronze in the 1,000 metres on the men’s side on Sunday at the world short-track speed skating championships,
St-Gelais, from Saint-Felicien, Que., won four silver medals over the competition. In addition to her second-place finish in the final overall standings, she picked up a silver medal in the women’s 1,000-metre race on Sunday, adding to the two second-place results she earned in Saturday’s 500 metres and 1,500 metres.
“I’m satisfied with this second place finish overall, although I’m a bit disappointed because I was initially aiming for the overall world title,” said St-Gelais. “Still, when I look at the bigger picture, I tell myself that there are things that I’ve really improved and things that I’ve done really well, and this is the kind of progress that bodes well running up to the Olympic Games (in 2018).”
St-Gelais was overtaken in the rankings by Elise Christie when the British skater won the women’s 1,000 metres on Sunday, ahead of St-Gelais, who was second. Christie subsequently finished ahead of St-Gelais in the 3,000-metre Super Final that followed, taking third place while the Canadian was fourth.
Christie therefore won the women’s world championship title with a total of 89 points, compared to 68 points for St-Gelais. South Korea’s Suk Hee Shim, who won the 3,000-metre race ahead of countrywoman Ji Yoo Kim, ended up third overall with 52 points.
Marie-Eve Drolet of Saguenay, Que., was eliminated in the 1,000-metre quarter-finals after settling for fourth place in her heat and did not qualify for the 3,000 metres, which involved only the top eight skaters in overall standings after the first three events. Drolet ended the weekend in 10th spot overall.
Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., who had to settle for the ranking finals in the 1,000 metres won her heat and was ranked the top skater in that part of the competition. Boutin, who was taking part in her second career World Championships, finished 24th overall.
On the men’s side, Girard, from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., earned his first career podium finish in overall standings at the world championships, as he was taking part in his third ever competition. He finished seventh overall last year and was 19th in 2015 in his debut.
Hamelin, from Sainte-Julie, Que., also skated in the 3,000 metres after winning the bronze medal in the 1,000 metres, finished behind South Korea’s Yi Ra Seo, who won gold, and Hungary’s Shaoang Liu, who collected silver. The Canadian veteran skater took sixth place in the 3,000 metres to finish eighth overall in men’s standings.
Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., was also penalized in the men’s 1,000 metre semifinals, and was eliminated at that stage of the event. Cournoyer finished 15th overall in the men’s standings.
The Canadian relays won their respective B finals, both on the men’s and women’s sides, to finish fifth overall. St-Gelais, Valerie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette and Boutin skated for the women’s relay on Sunday, while the men’s team was comprised of Hamelin, Girard, Cournoyer and Guillaume Bastille.
The Canadian Press