Road To The Olympic Games

Concussion sidelines Valerie Maltais at short track team selections

Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., withdrew from Canada's 2018 short-track speed skating team selections on Saturday due to a concussion. It follows Marianne St-Gelais's withdrawal with concussion-like symptoms last weekend.

Speed skater will request bye to compete at 2018 Olympics

Valerie Maltais, seen at a practice session last season, has been forced to withdraw from the short track speed skating national team selections taking place in Montreal this weekend. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., withdrew from Canada's 2018 short track speed skating team Olympic selection competition on Saturday due to a concussion.

Maltais fell on Wednesday during the semifinal round of the second 500-metre event and is experiencing moderate symptoms due to a concussion.

"I would have preferred to continue racing at these selections, especially considering that I earned good results in the 1,000 metres and the 1,500 metres last weekend, which gave me confidence going into the other races," Maltais said in a statement. "However, after my fall and after consulting with the medical team, it became clear that it would be best for me to withdraw from the competition.

"It's quite disappointing to come to this conclusion at this stage of the Olympic qualifying process, but I must think about my mid-term and long-term future."

She will miss the rest of the races scheduled at the competition taking place in Montreal.

Maltais will ask for a bye so that she can participate at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. If a bye request is granted to another skater, Maltais could then be picked as a discretionary choice. The full team will be announced on Aug. 30.

"My greatest wish is to be with the girls at the PyeongChang Games and I am confident I will be able to help the team do well," said Maltais. "I must now put my trust in the internal selection process involving the bye requests and the discretionary choice."

Maltais won silver at the 2014 Games in the 3,000m relay. She's won six world championship medals including finishing second overall in 2012.

The 27-year-old earned a victory in the 1500 on the second day of competition last weekend.

With files from CBC Sports

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