Dresden, February 3, 2016 – The Canadian Short Track Speed Skating team has set a goal to win seven individual medals at the fifth ISU World Cup of the season to be held this weekend, February 5-7, in Dresden, Germany.
Canada is looking to pursue its great season following 32 medals in four World Cups. Canada is actually second in the country ranking, only behind South Korea, who is leading with 33 medals.
On the women’s side, Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, QC, wants to win the gold medals in both events she will take part in this weekend, the 500m and 1000m. At the first four World Cups of the season, St-Gelais won seven individual medals, including one gold, four silver and two bronze. She is second in the World Cup 500m ranking, and fourth in the 1000m.
Valérie Maltais of La Baie, QC, is also looking to be on the podium in the 1000m and in the 1500m. Since the start of the season, Maltais won three medals, including two at the last World Cup held in Shanghai, China, where she got the gold medal in the 1000m and silver in the 1500m. Maltais is currently third in the World Cup ranking in the 1000m and in the 1500m.
Her teammate from Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Kasandra Bradette of Saint-Félicien, QC, is aiming to qualify in the 1500m (1) and 500m finals. Her best performance so far this season in World Cups was a win in the 500m (1) B Final in Toronto.
Fighting with Bradette for the third and last spot available for the individual distance on the women’s side at the 2016 World Championships, which will be held March 11-13 in Seoul, South Korea, Audrey Phaneuf of Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, will be in the 1500m (1) and 500m events. In both distance, her goal is to qualify for the B Finals. At the World Cup in Nagoya, Japan, she won a bronze medal in the 500m (2).
Namasthée Harris-Gauthier of Montréal (Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie borough) will be at the starting line of both 1500m events, in which she won a silver medal at the last Canadian Senior Championships. In both races, she is looking to take part in the A Final.
Jamie MacDonald of Fort St. James, B.C., will race in the 1000m and 1500m (2) events and is aiming to qualify for at least the B final in both events.
Harris-Gauthier and MacDonald are battling for the fifth and last spot on the World Championships women’s team allocated for the relay events. The selected one, as well as the last spot for the individual distances for Seoul, will be selected following analysis of their performances at the two Winter World Cups.
The men out to win three medals
On the men’s side, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, is looking to be twice on the podium in the 500m and 1000m. The veteran skater won a gold medal in each of the first four World Cups last fall. Hamelin is currently third in the World Cup ranking in the 500m, and fifth in the 1000m.
Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, QC, will aim to take part in the 500m and 1000m A Finals and to win one medal in either of these events. Cournoyer is currently second in the 1000m World Cup ranking.
François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, QC, will like to continue his great season so far following his three medals in four World Cups, including gold and bronze medals in the two 500m events held in Nagoya, Japan. In Dresden, he will take part in the two 1500m events and he is looking to be in both A Finals. He is currently fourth in the 500m World Cup overall ranking.
Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC, winner of three individual medals so far this season, will take part in the 500m and 1500m (1) events. He is also looking to be in the A Finals. Girard is currently second in the 500m World Cup overall ranking.
Sasha Fathoullin of Calgary, AB, qualified for his first-ever World Championships, will be in action in the 1000m and 1500m in Dresden. In both events, he is looking to be in the top-12. Earlier this season, in his second World Cup of his career, Fathoullin won his first medal with a silver in the 500m in Toronto. He also took part in the World Cup in Montreal the previous week.
William Preudhomme of Toronto, ON, will take part in both 1500m events, the distance in which he took the fifth spot at the Canadian Senior Championships in January. As it will be his third World Cup of his career, the 22-year old skater’s goal will be to gain as much experience as possible.
Following the qualification rounds for all events set for Friday, February 5, in Nagoya, repechage and final rounds in the first 1500m of the weekend and in the 1000m events as well as the relay semifinals will take place on Saturday, February 6. Repechage and final rounds for the second 1500m and the 500m as well as the relay finals will be held on Sunday, February 7.
Members of the Canadian team for the ISU World Cup Short Track #5 in Dresden, Germany:
-BRADETTE, Kasandra (Saint-Félicien, QC) – 1500m (1), 500m
-HARRIS-GAUTHIER, Namasthée (Montréal, Rosemont - La Petite-Patrie borough, QC) – 1500m (1), 1500m (2)
-MACDONALD, Jamie (Fort St. James, B.C.) – 1000m, 1500m (2)
-MALTAIS, Valérie (Saguenay, La Baie borough, QC) – 1000m, 1500m (2)
-PHANEUF, Audrey (Boucherville, QC) – 1500m (1), 500m
-ST-GELAIS, Marianne (Saint-Félicien, QC) – 1000m, 500m
-COURNOYER, Charle (Boucherville, QC) – 500m, 1000m
-FATHOULLIN, Sasha (Calgary, AB) – 1000m, 1500m (2)
-GIRARD, Samuel (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC) – 1500m (1), 500m
-HAMELIN, Charles (Sainte-Julie, QC) – 500m, 1000m
-HAMELIN, François (Sainte-Julie, QC) – 1500m (1), 1500m (2)
-PREUDHOMME, William (Toronto, ON) – 1500m (1), 1500m (2)
More information is available at Speed Skating Canada’s website: www.speedskating.ca.