NEWS: Day 1 of ISU Short Track World Cup in Japan

OTTAWA – On the first day of the ISU World Cup (results web site) in Nagoya, Japan, Speed Skating Canada saw its short track skaters compete in the qualification rounds. Saturday’s medal races will see the 1,500-metre, the first of two 1,000-metre competitions and the men’s and women’s relay semi-finals. On Sunday, there will be the 500-metre and second 1,000-metre races, as well as the relay finals.

For the women’s 500-metre race on Sunday, Vanessa Bélanger-Marceau of Loretteville, Que., Kasandra Bradette of St. Félicien, Que., and Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., qualified for the quarterfinals. For the men’s 500 metres, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and Quebec City’s Alexandre St. Jean won their heats to advance to the quarterfinals. Rémi Beaulieu of Alma, Que., was penalised in his heat and eliminated.

In the heats for the Saturday’s 1,000-metre race, Bradette qualified for the quarterfinals, while Bélanger-Marceau and Montreal’s Sabrina Bourgela will look to join their teammate through the repechage rounds. For the men’s first 1,000 metres, Beaulieu, Jean and St. Jean moved on to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

In the qualifications for Sunday’s 1,000-metre race, only Bourgela advanced directly to the women’s quarterfinals. Montreal’s Andréa Do-Duc will take part in the repechage after finishing third in her heat. Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., did not skate in either of the qualification rounds for the 1,000-metre and 1,500-metre distances because of injury. For the men’s second 1,000 metres, Yellowknife’s Michael Gilday and Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., were second in their heats to qualify for the quarterfinals, but Charle Cournoyer of Longueuil, Que., was penalised.

For Saturday’s 1,500-metre competition, only Do-Duc advanced directly to the women’s semi-finals. Truchon will skate through the repechage to qualify. All three men, Cournoyer, Hamelin and Gilday, advanced to the 1,500-metre semi-finals.

The men’s and women’s relay teams qualified for the semi-finals on Saturday. Gilday, Jean, Hamelin and St. Jean skated in the men’s relay, while Do-Duc, Bélanger-Marceau, Bradette and Truchon represented the women.

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