Short Track

CBC Sports - Wednesday Feb. 12, 2014 22:34 ET

Marianne St-Gelais takes 1st shot at short track podium

Charles Hamelin will skate in 2 men's events Thursday

Marianne St-Gelais, seen competing in Monday's heats.
Marianne St-Gelais, seen competing in Monday's heats, won two silver medals at the Vancouver Olympics. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Canada’s most famous Winter Games couple will be back on the ice Thursday at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais lead the list of Canadians competing in short track competition at Adler Arena.

St-Gelais is among a trio of Canadian women who will try and add to the team’s medal haul in the sport, at 500 metres.

The native of Saint-Felicien, Que., had the fastest time in Monday’s heats, and won a silver medal at the distance at the Vancouver Olympics.

Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., and Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., also qualified for the quarter-finals, which begin at 5 a.m. ET.

Hewitt is in her first Olympic experience, while Maltais competed for Canada at the Vancouver Games but did not reach the podium.

The top women’s skaters will move on to the semifinals about an hour later, with the gold medal final set for 7:05 a.m. ET.

Canada's historic total was increased to eight gold medals and 26 medals overall since the sport debuted in 1992 after Hamelin on Monday crossed first in the 1,500.

Hamelin captured his third career gold, to go with a silver from 2006. Should the 29-year-old capture another medal in Sochi, and it’s expected, he’ll tie Marc Gagnon and Francois-Louis Tremblay for the most medals ever by a Canadian in the sport.

The Ste. Julie, Que., native will step to the line in the 1,000 heats on Thursday, along with Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que.

The same three skaters, along with Francois Hamelin and Michael Gilday of Whitehorse, form the pool of skaters Canada will draw on for the 5,000 metre relay semifinals just over an hour later.

The men’s 1,000 metre medals will be determined over three rounds on Saturday.

The men’s relay caps off the short track competition at Sochi, on Feb. 21.

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