Photo: AP Photo/Jens Meyer
Photo: AP Photo/Jens Meyer

St-Gelais and Girard earn trio of silver medals at short track world championships

Marianne St-Gelais doubled up on second place finishes while Samuel Girard had one of his own to give Canada three silver medals on Saturday at the short track world championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

St-Gelais got the day started with her second straight trip to a world championship 1500m podium. Coming in as the reigning world champion, St-Gelais made her move at the midway point of the 13 and a half lap race, coming up from the back of the pack to tuck behind leader Elise Christie of Great Britain. As they approached the finish, Christie had to push out of the way a Korean skater who had fallen earlier in the race and been lapped. St-Gelais tried to beat her to the line, but Christie just got her blade across first to take the gold medal. South Korea’s Shim Suk Hee claimed the bronze.

In the men’s 1500m final that followed, Girard also claimed the silver medal. It is his second career individual world championship medal, following the 1000m silver he won last year. He was sandwiched between a pair of South Korean skaters, world champion Sin Da Woon and bronze medallist Seo Yi Ra. The 20-year-old had one World Cup podium this season in the 1500m, winning gold in Salt Lake City in November.

Less than two hours later, St-Gelais was back on the ice for the 500m final. Ranked first overall on the World Cup this season in the distance, St-Gelais jumped out to the early lead before being passed by China’s Fan Kexin. In the very quick four and a half lap race, St-Gelais claimed her second silver of the day ahead of South Korea’s Kim Ji Yoo. It is the second straight year St-Gelais has finished second in the 500m at the worlds.

The world championships conclude on Sunday with the 1000m and the relays. St-Gelais is currently ranked first in the overall classification while Girard is ranked third overall after finishing fourth in the 500m. He stumbled off the start line and in such a short race had no time to catch up.