Hamelin, St-Gelais win Canadian Open short-track speed skating titles
Marianne St-Gelais and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., each claimed national titles at the Canadian Open short-track speedskating meet Sunday.
St-Gelais, of St-Felicien, Que., held off Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterriere, Que., in the women's 1,000- and 3,000-metre finals for her first national title.
"I'm really proud of myself, this is my first title, so I'm very happy," said St-Gelais. "My goal was to finish top-2, you can take nothing for granted, but I did believe in myself."
St-Gelais won the 1,000 in one minute 29.231 seconds, ahead of Drolet, who finished in 1:29.379.
In the 3,000, St-Gelais finished second behind Montreal's Marie-Andree Mendes-Campeau to beat out Drolet, who was third.
The victories gave St-Gelais a final points total of 3,298 to Drolet's 2,965. Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., took third place with 1,662 points.
"I was strong in the 1,000 metre and I skated really well during the 500 metre event [Saturday] so I'm really happy, I didn't think I would be that strong," said St-Gelais.
On the men's side, Hamelin used a victory in the 1,000 and a second-place finish in the 3,000 behind Guillaume Bastille of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., to secure the national title he has held since 2004.
"Honestly, I had a great weekend, it all went super well and I was able to control my performance for the entire competition," said Hamelin. "I was again able to skate to the best of my abilities."
Hamelin finished with 3,148 overall points ahead of his brother Francois, who earned 2,266. Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., was third with 1,902.
Overall rankings at the end of the competition will help determine Canada's representatives at the last two World Cup events of the season, the world championships and the FISU Games.