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Canada advances to final rounds in all individual events at World Cup

Canada advances to final rounds at World Cup

DRESDEN, Germany — All 12 members of Canada's short-track speedskating team qualified for the final rounds of their individual events at this weekend's ISU World Cup, following Friday's qualification rounds.

The Canadian skaters showed they were in top form by coming up with the fastest times of the day in all the events, except for the men's 1,500 metres and the relays.

On the women's side, Marie-Eve Drolet of Saguenay, Que., won her two qualifying heats. She is skating in both 1,500-metre events slated for the weekend.

"I'm satisfied with how my day went. I skated well and I managed my stress level well also. I won my races in a good way, like I wanted to," said Drolet, who is looking to qualify for the A final in both her events, as well as to come up with one podium finish. "I felt good out there on the ice today and I'm confident that my goals are attainable."

Drolet will be accompanied by Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., and Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Felicien, Que., in the semifinals of the first 1,500-metre event, set for Saturday, as well as by Boutin and Valerie Maltais of Saguenay in the semifinals of Sunday's second 1,500-metre event. Like Drolet, Boutin has set a goal of taking part in both A finals in her events and winning one medal.

Maltais will also be in action in Saturday's 1,000 quarter-finals, along with Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Felicien and Jamie Macdonald from Fort St. James, B.C. Macdonald, who is looking to skate in the final rounds of both her events, has also qualified for Sunday's 500 quarter-finals, along with Bradette and St-Gelais.

St-Gelais, the 2017 Canadian senior champion, has a total of six individual medals in four World Cup stages so far this season. Her goal is to win a medal in each of her two events this weekend.

On the men's side, Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., the 2017 Canadian senior champion, started the weekend on the right foot by qualifying for Saturday's 1,000 quarter-finals and Sunday's 1,500 semifinals, both times by winning his qualification heat.

In Saturday's 1,000 quarter-finals and in Sunday's 1,500 semifinals, Cournoyer will be accompanied by Francois Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., and Guillaume Bastille of Riviere-du-Loup, Que.

Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, who is aiming to qualify for the A finals in both his events and to win one medal, will skate in Saturday's 1,500 semifinals and in Sunday's 500 quarter-finals.

In Saturday's 1,500 and Sunday's 500, Charles Hamelin will be accompanied by Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., who will be looking to come up with two podium finishes, and by Montreal's Pascal Dion.

In the relay, Canada earned spots in Saturday's semifinals, both on the men's and women's side. Both relays won their heat in Friday's qualification round.

Drolet, Maltais, St-Gelais and Bradette skated the women's relay Friday. Bastille, Hamelin, Cournoyer and Girard competed in the men's relay.

The Canadian Press