Canada's Marianne St-Gelais wins short track gold, silver at worlds
Saint-Félicien, Que., speed skater leads overall classification
Canada's Marianne St-Gelais won her first-ever world title by taking gold in the 1500-metre at the world short track speed skating championships in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday.
The world title is the first won by a female Canadian skater since Kalyna Roberge in the 500m in 2007.
St-Gelais, of Saint-Félicien, Que., took top spot on the podium in the 1500m race in two minutes 34.755 seconds, and followed that performance up with silver in the 500m event.
"I wanted a title and I got it," St-Gelais said. "It just goes to show to what extent we did some good work this season."
South Korea's Choi Minjeong took silver in the 1500 behind St-Gelais and Great Britain's Elise Christie rounded out the podium.
St-Gelais leads the overall classification with 55 points, followed by Fan Kexin, of China, who has 36 points after capturing gold in the 500m.
"I won't change anything to my game plan or my routine," St-Gelais said of Sunday's upcoming races. "I won't be thinking about the hat I'm now wearing, I'll just focus on what I have to do on the ice. I will try to earn the most points possible in the 1000m to give myself a wider margin after that in the 3000m."
After 1500m and 500m, ladies overall classification:<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WChSeoul?src=hash">#WChSeoul</a> <a href="https://t.co/mxriHHYv9B">pic.twitter.com/mxriHHYv9B</a>—@ISU_Speed
On the men's side, Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., was third in the men's 500m 'B' final. His teammate Charles Hamelin had crashed out in qualifying for the 500 on Friday, and had no chance of making the podium – thus limiting the Sainte-Julie, Que., native's chances at taking the overall crown.
China's Han Tianyu took the gold, Hungary's Liu Shaoang was second, and South Korea's Park Se Yeong was third ahead of Girard.
"The races were pretty tight so it was hard to recover. I tried to manage my energy level in the final, and I thought I performed well with what I had," Girard said. "Fourth place, that's a result that I'll take with a smile even if a podium, obviously, would have been better. Still, fourth is a big improvement on last year, and I'm taking it step by step."
After 1500m and 500m, men overall classification: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WChSeoul?src=hash">#WChSeoul</a> <a href="https://t.co/Wi9RPN6PJg">pic.twitter.com/Wi9RPN6PJg</a>—@ISU_Speed
Both Canadian men's and women's relay teams qualified for Sunday's medal races.
Ladies 3000m Relay Semi 1<br>1. China<br>2. Canada<br>3. Netherlands<br>4. France<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WChSeoul?src=hash">#WChSeoul</a>—@ISU_Speed
Men 5000m Relay Semi 2<br>1. Canada <br>2. Hungary <br>3. United States<br>4. Russia<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WChSeoul?src=hash">#WChSeoul</a>—@ISU_Speed