Welcome! My name is Michael Gilday and I am a Short Track Speedskater from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. I currently train at the National Training Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I've created this blog primarily to let family and friends know about competitions and travel. I also hope to educate a bit about short track and maybe even entertain. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

World Cup Qualification

Day one is now in the books. Overall it was a solid day for Team Canada. We really showed that we are a strong team and will be one to look for during the finals today and tomorrow. On the mens side everyone qualified straight to the final rounds tonight in each of their distances except for Francois-Louis Tremblay who had a tough heat and was disqualified. In the relay, Olivier Jean, Remi Beaulieu, Francois Hamelin and myself represented and looked to be qualifying easily when Francois stepped on a stray puck and went down with three to go. Luckily though we were able to still finish second and qualify for the semis tonight.

On the womens side it was also a successful day with the majority of the girls qualifying directly through to the evening sessions. Jess Hewitt had a couple tough races in her first world cup and will have to do the repechage to advance to the finals in both of her distances. Marianne St-Gelais also had a tough heat in the 500m and will have to go through the repechage. The women also qualified for the semis in the relay behind the Italians.

Yesterday was a marathon at the rink. We were there for almost 12 hours. Luckily though, we can rest all day today as we don't compete until 6pm. It should be a really good show tonight. They are expecting a sold out crowd. Yesterday the rink was about half full, which is awesome for a work day and the crowd is quite loud. In my 1000m heat, I had one of the Americans with me and every move he made was loudly cheered. The crowd is also right at ice level and are very close to the skaters so you really feel the energy. I think everyone is really looking forward to tonight as it will be broadcast on NBC. I don't think it will be live, but its awesome that short track is getting the exposure and that people are coming out to watch. I know our whole team is really hoping that we have amazing crowds next weekend in Vancouver. It is great to have people come and watch and when the crowd is cheering for you as the home team its even better!

As I put in the last post, results are being posted in real time along with lap times on the ISU site. The link to that is below.

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