Drolet & Jean are 1,500-metre winners at Canadian Open Short Track Championship

Drolet and Jean are 1,500-metre winners at Canadian Open Short Track Championship

SAGUENAY, Que. – Marie-Eve Drolet, of Laterrière, Que., won her second consecutive 1,500-metre crown today at the 2012 Canadian Open Short Track Championship in Saguenay, Que., while Olivier Jean, of Lachenaie, Que., won his first men’s national 1,500-metre title.

Drolet, 29, won the six-woman final to take the gold medal in a time of 2:24.51. Valerie Maltais, of La Baie, Que., won the silver (2:24.60) medal and Caroline Truchon, of Chicoutimi, Que., took the bronze (2:24.73). Drolet also won the 2011 gold medal.

“I knew that Valerie (Maltais) and I were really strong in the 1,500, and that she was going to try and pass me on the inside or outside,” said Drolet. “I had to keep her on the outside (to win). The last two laps we had to give it all we had.”

Jean, 27, won gold in the seven-man final in a time of 2:14.89. Defending 1,500-metre Canadian champion Charles Hamelin, of Saint Julie, Que., won the silver (2:14.98) medal, and Yellowknife’s Michael Gilday won his second consecutive bronze (2:15.11) medal.

“I’m extremely happy,” said Jean. “This is my first victory in the 1,500 metres. I’ve never been Canadian champion in the 1,500 metres. The win is proof of the improvements I’ve made and work that I’ve done this season.”

The Canadian championship, which serves as the national team selection event for the final two World Cups and World Championship, wraps-up with the 1,000 metres, 3,000 metres and relays. The competition starts at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday. Catch all the races on the live webcast.