Samuel Girard, Kim Boutin book Olympic tickets at short track selection trials
Speed skaters will compete in Pyeongchang after securing 1st place in standings
Samuel Girard and Kim Boutin will compete at the 2018 Olympics Games in Pyeongchang after qualifying for the provisional Canadian short-track team on Saturday in Montreal.
Girard, from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., clinched the first spot in the men's standings by winning his second-straight 1,000-metre race. Girard has also won each of the first two 500 events and the 1,500.
"I feel ecstatic," said Samuel Girard. "With today's two wins, it's nice to be able to continue at the same pace. My spot at the Games is now official, and I'll have a spot in each distance, so I'm very happy."
Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., clinched first in the women's standings by winning the 1,000 and followed that up with a victory in the 1,500.
"I'm less emotional than I was last Wednesday, but I'm still very happy with both my races today. In addition to qualifying for the Olympics, I earned a spot in each of the three distances, so it's definitely a big plus," said Boutin.
"I wasn't expecting this, especially that I didn't expect Marianne [St-Gelais] and Valérie [Maltais] to bow out of the competition," said Boutin. "But it's great to have been able to skate in front most of the time. I came up with a plan that's worked well for me, I felt I had good legs, so it was important for me to give it my all in every race and to do it consistently."
It's the first time that both Girard and Boutin will compete at an Olympics.
Hamelin sits second
Veteran Charles Hamelin is second in the overall men's standings with 34,000 points, ahead of Charle Cournoyer, who has 28,800 points. Hamelin was second in the 1,500 but didn't reach the final of the 1,000 after being penalized.
"Before the competition, my goal was to finish in the top three and qualify for the Olympic team, so finishing first or second doesn't matter to me," said Charles Hamelin. "Being second behind Samuel [Girard], that would be quite fine by me.
"Now that Sam has earned his ticket for the Games, my goal is to qualify as well in hopes of having the strongest possible team at the Olympics."
"There's still one day and two distances to go, and I still have energy in the tank," added Charles Hamelin.
Jamie Macdonald is second in the women's standings with 30,400 points while Kasandra Bradette is third with 27,200.