Twenty-year-old rookie Kim Boutin carved herself a spot among the best short track speed skaters in the world at her very first ISU World Championships, Sunday in Moscow, as she earned seventh place in overall standings at the conclusion of the competition.
Charles Hamelin was the top Canadian on the men’s side, as he earned a silver medal in the men’s 1000m, Sunday, in addition to fourth place in overall standings at the 2015 World Championships.
Boutin (Sherbrooke, QC), who joined the international senior circuit this season – she won two bronze medals at the World Cup – finished seventh in overall standings behind such well-established skaters as South Korea’s Choi Minjeong (who was crowned the women’s 2015 world champion), Shim Suk Hee and Kim Alang, Italy’s Arianna Fontana, Great Britain’s Elise Christie and China’s Fan Kexin.
Boutin ended up seventh after earning sith place in the women’s 3000m superfinal, where the only skaters invited were the top-8 in provisional standings after the first three events of the weekend – Saturday’s 500m and 1500m, and Sunday’s 1000m. Boutin, who won the 3000m event at last January’s Canadian Championships, raced to a time of five minutes and 42.087 seconds, finishing ahead of Christie, sixth in 5:42.123, during a race won by Choi in 5:40.480.
“I didn’t expect to make it to the 3000m superfinal, so it’s really a pleasant surprise,” said Boutin. “Like I did Saturday, I started to go all out a little bit too early in the race. But it’s very encouraging to be able to skate alongside the top skaters in the world. It shows me that more than anything, what I need to do is to gain a little more experience!
“I’m quite happy with my first year at the senior international level. It makes me even hungrier for what’s coming up in the near future.”
Third in provisional overall standings going into the superfinal, Hamelin finished fourth in the men’s 3000m with a time of 5:06.571, close to the top-3 comprised of Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands (5:05.321), Park Se Yeong of South Korea (5:05.344) and Wu Dajing of China (5:06.093).
“I made a mistake by not joining the frontrunners right at the start of the 3000m,” said Hamelin. “They surprised me! That small mistake early on cost me dearly and I didn’t have strong enough legs to catch up at the end.”
Hamelin ended up fourth in overall standings with 45 points, 10 points away from Wu, who picked up the overall bronze medal with a total of 55 points. Knegt and Park both collected 63 points, but Knegt was crowned 2015 world champion because he won the 3000m ahead of Park.
“I had some misfortunes in the 500m and the 1000m over the weekend, which cost me a lot of points – by my fault in one case, and because of another skater in the other,” said Hamelin. “I now have three more years to become world champion for the first time and I hope to do it in the near future.”
Hamelin, who was skating in the 12th World Championships of his career, therefore finished one rank lower than last year, when the competition was held in Montreal. That time, he ended up on the overall standings podium for the fifth time. The 30-year-old athlete finished second overall in 2007 and 2011, as well as third in 2009, 2013 and 2014.
The last Canadian male skater to be crowned overall world champion was Marc Gagnon in 1998. The last female world champion from Canada was Nathalie Lambert in 1994.
A disappointing silver medal for Hamelin in 1000m
The top eight in overall standings after the weekend first three events, both on the men’s and women’s sides, qualified for the 3000m superfinals and continued to earn points for the overall world title. Boutin was part of that group on the women’s side, while Hamelin qualified for the men’s 3000m.
Hamelin secured his spot in the final race of the weekend by coming up with the silver medal in the men’s 1000m with a time of 1:25.189. He finished behind South Korea’s Park Se Yeong (1:25.155) and ahead of China’s Shi Jingnan (1:25.225). Hamelin therefore provisionally placed third in overall standings with 37 points, five points away from Park and Wu.
“I’m a little disappointed with only getting the silver,” said Hamelin. “I was on my way to a gold medal when the two Koreans teamed up, sacrificing one so the other could win. One pushed me in the last turn (Sin Da Woon, who was penalized) and I ended up second.”
“It’s the only distance where I haven’t won the world title yet and I would have liked to do it today. I have three years to make it up. Still, I’m pretty satisfied with how I’ve done at these World Championships.”
Hamelin also earned the bronze medal in Saturday’s 1500m. The veteran skater from Sainte-Julie, QC, therefore collected Canada’s only two medals in individuel races over the weekend. That is the lowest total by the Canadian team since the 2004 World Championships held in Sweden.
Boutin earned her spot in the women’s 1000m A final by finishing second in her heat in the quarterfinals, and again in the semifinals. In the final, she was fourth in 1:32.978, behind South Korea’s Choi Minjeong (1:32.730), Great Britain’s Elise Christie (1:32.782) and Italy’s Arianna Fontana (1:32.903). After that race, Boutin stood sixth in provisional overall standings, 16 points away and more from the top five skaters.
“Just making it to the 1000m A final was a positive result for me. I was happy about qualifying for my second A final of the weekend (after Saturday’s 1500m),” said Boutin. “It was the race of my life and I gave it my all, considering that I was with the top three skaters in the world.”
Marianne St-Gelais 11th overall
Hamelin and Boutin were the only athletes on the Canadian team to qualify for the 3000m superfinals.
On the women’s side, Marianne St-Gelais (Saint-Félicien, QC) finished 11th in overall standings after being eliminated in the 1000m quarterfinals due to a penalty. Kasandra Bradette (Saint-Félicien, QC) ended up 13th overall after also being eliminated in the 1000m quarterfinals, as she was fourth in her heat.
St-Gelais, who won eight medals in individual events on the World Cup circuit this season, was skating for the sixth time in the World Championships and she finished 10th overall last year, in Montreal. Her best career result was a fourth-place finish overall in 2013. Bradette was taking part in her very first senior World Championships.
On the men’s side, Samuel Girard (Ferland-et-Boilleau, QC) and Patrick Duffy (Oakville, ON), who were both skating in their very first World Championships, respectively ended up 19th and 24th in overall standings. They were both eliminated in the 1000m quarterfinals, Sunday, as Duffy was third in his heat and Girard was penalized.
In the relay, the Canadian men’s four comprised of Hamelin, Girard, Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, QC) and Guillaume Bastille Rivière-du-Loup, QC) was disqualified in the B final, because of a penalty during the race. On the women’s side, Canada was the only entry in the B final along with France, so the race was cancelled.
The World Championships signal the end of the 2014-2015 short track speed skating season.
More info, including the full schedule and results, are available on Speed Skating Canada’s Website: www.speedskating.ca.
TODAY’S CANADIAN RESULTS:
Final overall ranking
Kim Boutin: 7
Marianne St-Gelais: 11
Kasandra Bradette: 13
Charles Hamelin: 4
Samuel Girard: 19
Patrick Duffy: 24
3000m Super Finale W
Kim Boutin: 6
3000m Super Finale M
Charles Hamelin: 4
Kim Boutin: 4th in the A final (overall ranking: 4)
Kasandra Bradette: 4th in the quarterfinals and eliminated (overall ranking: 15)
Marianne St-Gelais: penalty in the quarterfinals and eliminated (overall ranking: 19)
Charles Hamelin: silver medal (overall ranking: 2)
Patrick Duffy: 3rd in the quarterfinals and eliminated (overall ranking: 11)
Samuel Girard: penalty in the quarterfinals and eliminated (overall ranking: 19)
Canada: (overall ranking: 5)
(Marianne St-Gelais, Kim Boutin, Kasandra Bradette, Valérie Maltais)
Canada: penalty in the B final (overall ranking: 7)
(Patrick Duffy, Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Olivier Jean)
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 13,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.
SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsor Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.
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