St-Gelais, Girard lead Canadian short track medal haul

Marianne St-Gelais and Samuel Girard continued Canada’s torrid start to the World Cup short track season with gold-medal finishes – just two of the five speed skating medals won by Canadians on Saturday in the Netherlands.

Kim Boutin, Charles Hamelin and Valerie Maltais also reached the podium at the second leg of the World Cup season.

St-Gelais of Saint-Felicien, Que., topped the 500-metre event with a time of 43.093 seconds. Boutin, of Sherbrooke, Que., finished with a time of 43.149, while Italy’s Martina Valcepina was third in 43.287.

Boutin now has four medals this season after earning three silver in the season opener.​

Girard, of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., took gold in the men’s 500, crossing the line in 40.767. Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands was second at 40.840 and South Korea’s Heon Hwang Dae third at 40.844.

Ealier, Maltais, of Saguenay, Que., took silver in the women’s 1500 for her first individual medal of the season after earning silver in relay last weekend in Budapest.

South Korea’s Jeong Min Choi took gold for the second-straight week with a time of two minutes, 31.334 seconds. Maltais followed at 2:31.475, while Choi’s teammate Suk Hee Shim was third in 2:31.531.

Boutin and Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., finished fifth and sixth respectively. 

In the men’s 1500, Hamelin, of Saint-Felicien, Que., came away with bronze.

Dae also earned another gold for South Korea with a time of 2:12.479, Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu was next at 2:12.539, while Hamelin clocked a time of 2:12.571.

Canada’s Girard was penalized and finished sixth.

Hamelin was also in the 500 discipline but was penalized for pushing an opponent and did not advance. 

Boutin, Maltais, and St-Gelais as well as Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., Girard, and Hamelin have all qualified for the 1000 quarter-finals to be held on Sunday.

In the final events on Saturday, the men’s and women’s relay teams both qualified for Sunday’s final. 

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