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Canada nearly perfect in short track qualifying

Canada's short track speed skating team qualified 19 of a possible 20 spots over two days for the final rounds in the second leg of the World Cup season in the Netherlands.

Speed skaters secure 19 of 20 spots for weekend races in the Netherlands

Kim Boutin, far left, is part of a strong Canadian contingent competing at the short track World Cup stop this weekend in Dordrecht, Netherlands. CBCSports.ca will have live coverage of the event beginning Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET. (Zsolt Czegledi/EPA)

Canada's short track speed skating team qualified 19 of a possible 20 spots over two days for the final rounds of the second leg of the World Cup season taking place this weekend in the Netherlands.

On the women's side, Kim Boutin and Jamie Macdonald advanced in the 500 and 1,500 events, Valerie Maltais qualified Thursday for the 1,500 and Marianne St-Gelais in the 500.

Also on Thursday Charle Cournoyer (1,500) Samuel Girard (500, 1,500) and Charles Hamelin (500, 1,500) are through to the final rounds for the men's team.

Macdonald had a particularly good outing in the 500 elimination round where she finished ahead of reigning world champion Elise Christie of Great Britain.

"I had the number one position on the starting line and I had a good start, so that allowed me to come out first and I led the whole race," said Macdonald.

"I was watching Elise. I knew she was right behind me and I thought she might set something up, but I think I did a good job of varying my speed and by throwing in two crossovers, she wasn't able to. It was a good race."

On Friday, Boutin, Maltais, and St-Gelais as well as Cournoyer, Girard, and Hamelin all qualified for the 1000 quarter-finals to be held on Sunday.

The men's and women's relay teams also gave Canada a spot in Saturday's relay semifinals.

Canada had a good start to the season at the World Cup opener in Budapest last weekend, highlighted by the men's and women's relay teams earning gold and silver, respectively, and a trio of silvers for Boutin.

CBCSport.ca will provide live coverage of this weekend's World Cup races, beginning on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET. Catch more live action Sunday at 8 a.m. ET.

With files from Speed Skating Canada

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