Canadian skaters broke the ice at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht on Friday in their first competition in more than a year.
Led by veteran Charles Hamlin, most of the nation’s skaters qualified to the playoffs on Saturday.
Obviously, these worlds do not have the usual flavor of representatives of the maple leaf. First, because it is its first major competition in a long time, and then because of the context in which it was presented.
“There was a little more excitement than usual, everyone had shake Before you reach the arena. I was personally excited to be able to walk to the rink, face other countries and show how difficult our work this year despite the health situation, ”Hamlin agreed through a video conference.
The 36-year-old Triple Olympic gold medalist also made a little clear the reality that skaters face immediately.
“It’s different [par rapport à mes 16 premiers Mondiaux] ; It’s a little more restrictive. We cannot do activities together because we are tied alone in our rooms, and we cannot encourage our teammates to the edge of the rink. Having said that, I think we’ve been living with this bubble principle long enough to know what to expect. We realize that we simply have to respect the applicable rules. “
Thus, Hamlin, Stephen Dubois and Maxime Lone all completed the first stage at a distance of 500, 1000 and 1500 meters.
“I just wanted to be in control of what I wanted to do, not to overdo it, and to be comfortable in racing,” Hamlin said. I didn’t want to get in trouble for nothing. The 500 and 1500 meters went well. It was a little trickier at the 1000 meters, especially to defend my left side, but I managed to work my way up to first place again. “
But Dubois, from Lachine, got a pass of more than 1,000 meters after a penalty kick was imposed on Ukrainian Ole Handi for a collision that caused him to fall.
This weekend Hamlin will try to add to his collection of 36 professional medals in the world, including 12 golds.
“I have very high expectations for Saturday and Sunday. I’ll do everything in my power to get everything in place tomorrow, and then it will be up to me to do the job on the ice.”
Realms, Brunel’s game
On the women’s front, Canada’s rising star, Florence Brunel, had its first satisfactory day of competition.
“It’s a great experience; I am happy to try this out. I am learning, I am learning all the time. Only 17-year-old skier, who was in the earliest realms of her early career, said I am making the most of the present moment and trying to learn more from the things that are happening now.
Brunel of Trois-Riviere completed the first session without difficulty at the 500 and 1500 meters. However, its course has seen more than 1,000 meters of stops in the initial phase.
“It’s been a long time since I participated in a contest, so I somehow forgot what it was,” Quebec admitted. At the end of the day, it’s a game, and the goal is to finish in front of the others. So you can play with others [patineuses]I achieved after my first race. It didn’t necessarily reduce my stress, but it made me feel calm.
“I am happy with the results so far,” she added.
Courtney Sarrault of Moncton, New Brunswick, qualified for the following 500, 1000 and 1500 m runs.
Three-time Olympic medalist Kim Putin, from Sherbrooke, has chosen not to participate in the World Championships to focus on the Olympic Games in Beijing next winter.
In addition, powers like South Korea and Japan have chosen to spend time away from this competition, especially due to travel concerns in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
No medals were awarded on Friday.
The medals will be awarded on Saturday in the men’s and women’s competitions over the 500 and 1500 meters. Dordrecht worlds continue until Sunday.