Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu set a personal best at the Canadian Championships and won the silver medal in the 1500m, securing his ticket to the World Cup.
Gélinas-Beaulieu, author of a time of 1min 45s 09, has deducted just over a second from his personal mark of 1min 46s 09, set up two weeks ago. He gave way only to Connor Howe, who froze the clock at 1:44:77.
“A timer is unimaginable at this time of year,” said Gélinas-Beaulieu. I’m really happy and very surprised. I never thought that I could achieve such a time at sea level, the ice has to be fast, and the times at the other events also show that.
If the mass start, presented on Sunday, remains his priority, the former short track skater believes he can succeed in the 1500m.
“A time of 1:45 at sea level would put me in a very good position in the World Cup and I could consider a top 10,” he said. I finished the race strong and that gives me confidence for the future. In contrast to last year, I started slower and rode more consistently, so I didn’t finish completely exhausted. This strategy helped me.”
Vincent De Haître finished fifth with a time of 1:47:81. As for Laurent Dubreuil, who started training for the 1000m, he crossed the finish line in 1:50:43, giving him 10th place.
Another medal for Lamarche
After Béatrice Lamarche won bronze in the 1,000m on Friday to sign her first career podium, on Saturday Béatrice Lamarche doubled the lead and climbed the third step of the podium in the 1,500m with a time of 1:58:12 Blondin and Isabelle Weidemann won Gold and silver.
“It’s a bit of a surprise to be on the podium because there were a lot of good girls, but I had a good race,” said Lamarche, who is now World Cup qualified in both events. It was so close for third place.”
“By getting on the podium in my two best events, I proved to myself that I have my place,” added Lamarche, who failed to qualify for the World Cup last year. I improved my limit switches and Valérie Maltais played a good role in this improvement. Ever since Valérie moved to Quebec, we’ve been training together and pushing each other.
Jordan Pierre-Gilles retires from competition
Olympian Jordan Pierre-Gilles had to put in a cross at his national championships after a violent fall that caused an injury on Friday.
Pierre-Gilles was the victim of a fall while finishing second in the 500m final on Friday, injuring his ankle. He attended the warm-up session on Saturday morning but was forced to reluctantly withdraw.
“It’s the first time I’ve had to retire from a competition and it’s hard to accept,” said the gold medalist in the 5000m relay at the Beijing Games. Even though I wanted to continue and I’m not comfortable with the thought of retiring, I have to think about my health. The season is young and I don’t want to risk an injury. This is only the first year of the Olympic cycle.
Pierre-Gilles was heading for a podium in the 500m when he fell heavily without anyone touching him.
“After a good run in the heats and semifinals, I was in a very good position when I crashed in the finals,” he said. After my fall, my skate got caught in the ice and my right ankle suffered as a result.
selection for the World Cup
Pierre-Gilles preferred to play it safe by retiring, even if the national team will serve as a selection for the World Cup, which kicks off in Montreal on 28-30 October.
“I leave the decision to commit to the World Cup to the coaches and the organization,” he explained. Anyone who knows skating knows I have my place in the World Cup. We are only three men [Steven Dubois et Pascal Dion sont les deux autres] in the country, which reached a top 8 on the international stage last year. This is an important criterion in the discretionary choice.
Speed Skating Canada (SPC) may exercise discretion in selecting athletes for the World Championships. It is also possible for an athlete to benefit from a pass due to their medical condition.
Last year at the Nationals, Charles Hamelin suffered a concussion early in the championship and had to retire. PVC then used the medical clause to give him a start in the World Cup.
“Jordan respects the requirement for obtaining a medical passport, which is to have finished in the top eight at the World Cup or the previous year’s World Cup,” said Team Canada head coach Sébastien Cros. The High Performance Committee will study the record and make a comparison to the last qualified skater.
Restored in time
Does Pierre-Gilles think he’ll recover in time for the World Cup in Montreal? “I don’t think I’ll be out for too long. I think I’m ready to compete in Montreal.”
Pierre-Gilles, author of a first World Cup individual medal last season in his favorite 500m race, has high hopes for next season.
“That’s just the beginning of what I showed last year,” he said. I still have great things to show.”
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