Canadian skaters near perfect in qualifying at short track worlds
Hamelin misses chance at 500-metre podium
Four of five Canadian skaters reached the final round in each of the three events at the world short track speed skating championships on Friday.
Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Kasandra Bradette and Samuel Girard qualified for the for the 500-metre and 1000m quarter finals as well as the 1500m semifinals.
A fall in the men's 500m heats took one of Canada's medal hopes, Charles Hamelin, out of contention for a podium in that distance. However, the three-time Olympian moved on to the finals of the other two distances.
"My left boot touched the ice and I lost my balance. It's too bad that it happened here, because this kind of thing rarely happens to me," Hamelin said.
The fall will make it difficult for Hamelin to capture his overall world title.
"I will try to collect the maximum amount of points in the 1000m and 1500m to give myself the best chances possible to battle for the title, and we'll see where it leads me," Hamelin said.
He finished first in each of his two races on his way to qualifying for the quarter finals in the 1000m and started his day first in his 1500m heat to reach the semifinals.
St-Gelais fights way to finals
Marianne St-Gelais easily qualified for the women's 500m and 1000m quarter finals, but had a bit of a scare in the 1500m after finishing third in a high-calibre heat that included Great Britain's Elise Christie and China's Fan Kexin.
However, St-Gelais advanced to the next round as one of the four fastest third-place finishers.
"I knew it was going to be a tough race," said St-Gelais of her 1500m heat. "I was aiming to win the race or finish second to put myself in a better position for the rest of the competition, but the fact remains that I qualified for the semifinals, which is the most important thing."
She is aiming to finish among the top three overall and to win a world title in at least one distance in Seoul.