Hamelin, Cournoyer, Bradette and MacDonald will go to Pyeongchang

Sport 21 August, 2017

Photo: Jens Meyer, Associated Press
Charles Hamelin (foreground) got his ticket to fly to South Korea and represent Canada at the 2018 olympic Games.

The passing of the torch has indeed taken place in the Selections of the team in short track for the olympic Games of 2018.


Samuel Girard and Kim Boutin flew over the competition, winning, respectively, seven and eight of the nine races in the pane respective during the week. They were already assured of their place in the team’s canadian draft prior to the submission of the last 500 m and 1000 m, Sunday.


Charles Hamelin, Charle Cournoyer, Kasandra Bradette and Jamie MacDonald have won the other four seats at stake in the selections held at the Maurice-Richard arena.


Only the three first skaters in the men and women in the general ranking of the week of competition got automatically a spot on the canadian team that will go to the Games to Pyeongchang in February. The two best results on the best two distances (500, 1000 and 1500 m) were recorded, that is to say, four results out of nine races.


Girard, of Ferland-et-Boilleau, has confirmed its role as the heir of Hamelin in the men, though “the locomotive of Sainte-Julie” was able to make the beard for the youngster, winning the last race of the week.


Hamelin has private Girard’s tripled in the 1000 m with the top in a final, furious.


“Charles has skated in the last race, has admitted Girard, who is at least 21 years of age and who had signed a third victory in the 500 m earlier in the day. It was his last race at the canadian level and I am proud to have participated and to have seen him win. “


About 24 hours after you confirmed its first participation at the Olympics, Girard sought again his words to express what he felt.


“I don’t realize it yet, he said. It is the dream of every amateur athlete to go to the Games. To get me there, it is a goal that has just been reached and I’ll want to do well there. “


“My parents and my family, I just want to say thank you for believing in me. “


For his part, Hamelin will be making his fourth olympic Games. He has already won three gold medals and one silver to his name, and he suggested that the end of his career approaching may be.


“In 2006 [in Turin], it was a surprise for me to qualify,” said Hampton, now 33 years old. If someone had told me in 2006 that I would one day be my fourth Games… this is exceptional. It is an experience that I will live with a smile and a lot of fun with the guys and the girls on the team. “


Hamelin has confirmed his place in the team by signing a victory and a second place in the 1500 m, as well as a victory and a third place in the 1000 m.


For its part, Cournoyer, who is 26 years old, competing at her second olympic Games, who had won the bronze in the 500 m at the Sochi Games in 2014. He has twice finished second in the 1000 m and two times third in the 500 m during the selections.


A trio of recruits


In the absence of Marianne St-Gelais, injured in training before the competition, and Valérie Maltais, fallen in combat on Wednesday, the succession has also made its place among the women.


Boutin, of Sherbrooke, MacDonald, Fort St. James, in British Columbia, and Bradette of Saint-Félicien, will be all the three at their first participation in the Olympics.


“Kim [Boutin] is a girl that we saw rise rapidly for several years, noted the coach of the women’s team and a former double olympic medalist in Albertville in 1992, Frédéric Blackburn. She began to heat the buttocks with Marianne last season. But all of our girls train every day to improve. This week, they have been rewarded for their work. “


The emotions were strong for the trio of recruits, even for Boutin, who has refused to turn down the intensity on Sunday, even if his ticket to Pyeongchang was already in the pocket.


“I think that the fact of having started the week in force, and he helped me, said the female of 22 years who has completed triplets in the 500 m and 1000 m, Sunday. I kept the same guideline by the following. It would have been easy to tell me that I could relax once I had my place, but I remained in my bubble, and I focused on the work to be done. “


MacDonald, who is also aged 22, has finished second overall with two second places in the 1500 m and second and third positions at both the 500 m to 1000 m.


For its part, Bradette, 27 years, has signed two second places in the 500 m, as well as a second and a third place in the 1000 m.


“Before, it was just an ideal that I never thought I would achieve, said Bradette about the olympic dream. I put effort and I have found solutions every time I had difficulties. I then saw that I could get there. “


The entire canadian team will now have the task to qualify a maximum of three canadian speed skaters in each distance at the Games in Pyeongchang, as well as relay teams. The canadian team will have four stops on the circuit of the world Cup this autumn to do so.


Decision to come for Francois Hamelin, St-Gelais and Maltais


In addition to St-Gelais and Maltais, the veteran Francois Hamelin has also been unable to complete the week, victim of a fall Saturday.


The three skaters, however, should inherit from three of the other four places are available within the team through a request for exemption or a discretionary choice of the coaches.


The identity of the fourth and fifth members of each side will be unveiled on 30 August.