Samuel Girard and Kim Boutin confirmed their place on the provisional 2018 short track speed skating Olympic team with good results at the national teams on Saturday at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal.
This is a giant step towards a participation in their first Games.
Girard secured first place in the overall standings with two wins in the 1,000 and two wins in the 500. Since only the two best races on each distance are counted, it can not be caught, no matter what the outcome of Sunday’s day.
The atmosphere was at the rendezvous in the stands when the skater crossed the finish of the second 1000 m. His many supporters of Ferland and Boilleau exclaimed: “We are going to Pyeongchang,” while Girard saluted them with a smile on their lips.
The 20-year-old had not said his last word. He added to the final of the 1500 m, adding a sixth victory to his record in the selections.
The Sherbrooke Kim Boutin celebrated his victory in the women’s 1,000, the first race of the day and event that enabled him to validate his place in the provisional Olympic team.
She then won the 1,500m and thus secured the top spot in the women’s overall standings of the Canadian Olympic selections, like Girard.
Kim Boutin’s preparation for this Olympic year has been tumultuous. She had completely withdrawn from skating in the winter of 2016, in order to take time to refocus on her goals. The following fall, she was back in force, and finished second in the national tests.
A worrying fall for François Hamelin
In qualifying the 1500 m, François Hamelin collided with Sasha Fathoullin and fell violently. The Sainte-Julie skater attempted to prevent him from overtaking him and was thrown headlong into the mattresses. He used the help of members of the medical team to get up.
He seemed to be sounding out of the ice and could not continue his day of competition. Even if he had been in a state of repair, he could not have continued in the 1500 m, because he received a penalty from officials for his gesture called obstruction.
The Canadian Olympic Short Track Speed Skating Selections will end Sunday afternoon. The first six athletes from the provisional Olympic team will be known.