Marianne St-Gelais disqualified for interference in 500 metres — and she isn’t pleased

GANGNEUNG — Kim Boutin is to Marianne St-Gelais what Samuel Girard is to Charles Hamelin: the next wave, the future of short track speed skating in Canada.

But on Tuesday, Boutin became the country’s only present hope for a medal in the women’s 500 metres. She made it through the heats to the second round, but her mentor didn’t accompany her.

St-Gelais, who is hanging up the blades after this season, was penalized for impeding Dutch skater Yara van Kerkhof on the first corner of the first 500-metre heat of the night at Gangneung Ice Arena. She thought it was the wrong call.

“I’m not happy with the decision. I don’t think I deserved it,” she said. “I was ahead of the girl, she fell and I’ve been called. We never saw that in short track before. Starts are always aggressive. Starts are always like that. Everybody wants to be in the top two. But for some reason I’ve been called on that.”

Canada’s Marianne St Gelais (L) and Netherlands’ Yara van Kerkhof compete in the women’s 500m short track speed skating quarter-final event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOVMLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

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Canada’s Marianne St Gelais (left) and the Netherlands’ Yara van Kerkhof compete in the 500 metres at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Feb. 13.

St-Gelais maintains she did not touch van Kerkhof, but referees decided otherwise and the race proceeded with just three skaters.

“Everything happens so fast, but I never expected that,” said St-Gelais. “Usually when somebody (falls), they just redo the start and everybody (gets) another chance. There’s nothing we can do about it. I have …read more

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