• Sat. Mar 6th, 2021

‘Unbeatable’ Charles Hamelin leads Canadian squad into short track worlds | CBC Sports


Feb 23, 2021

Ten Canadians are set to compete on the ISU world quick observe pace skating championships subsequent month in Dordrecht, Netherlands, their first competitors because the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports activities final March.

The March 5-7 occasion would be the lone worldwide competitors of the season in any case six World Cups, together with these in Laval, Que., and Montreal final November, had been cancelled.

The 2020 world championships was one of many first worldwide sporting occasions cancelled early within the world pandemic.

Leading the best way for Canada is Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., making his 17th look.

“I am excited about this team,” Canadian coach Sébastien Cros mentioned in a Speed Skating Canada information launch.”Again, the unbeatable Charles Hamelin will be there to lead and guide our youth.”

World Cup medallists Steven Dubois, Courtney Sarault and Alyson Charles will compete at worlds for a second time whereas making ready for his or her debut is Florence Brunelle, Danaé Blais and Claudia Gagnon. Fellow Canadians Maxime Laoun, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and William Dandjinou are newcomers to the world stage on the lads’s aspect.

‘We confronted a number of challenges this 12 months’

“I feel really excited and blessed to get the chance to finally skate again,” mentioned Sarault, who hails from Moncton, N.B. “We faced a lot of challenges this year, so it will be interesting to see how our year of just training and no competitions pays off.

“I really feel actually good mentally and bodily proper now, so I’ll go into this competitors with some excessive hopes.”

It’s the one competitors of the 12 months, so it is as much as us to be daring and seize the chance.— Canadian short track coach Sebastien Cros

Cros echoed Sarault comments, noting all skaters have worked hard under difficult circumstances.

“Since the start of January, we now have had nice depth in coaching; the bodily kind is there, and we can be able to race,” said Cros. “Without benchmarks for this season, our potential to adapt and problem the Europeans — who’ve had alternatives to compete — can be of utmost significance.”

“That mentioned, we’re not going to the world championships to get some contemporary air, we wish to carry out whatever the situations we have handled the previous few months. It’s the one competitors of the 12 months, so it is as much as us to be daring and seize the chance.”

Brunelle, Sarault, Hamelin, Dubois and Laoun will be participating in the individual distances, while the remaining skaters will compete in men’s and women’s relays.
Triple Olympic medallist and 500-metre world record holder Kim Boutin will not travel to the Netherlands, choosing to recharge and refocus ahead of the 2020 Beijing Olympics. A year ago, the 26-year-old from Sherbrooke, Que., withdrew from the final World Cup stop in Dordrecht to prepare for worlds after earning her ninth medal of the season  in 10 individual events.

All athletes, coaches and staff members were given the choice to travel to Dordrecht next month, given their comfort level and personal situation in the pandemic.

CBC Sports will provide a live stream of the races and additional coverage on Road to the Olympic Games, starting March 6 at four p.m. ET.

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