Short Track

Greg Hughes - Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014 06:13 ET

Canada wins silver in women's short track 3,000-metre relay

Caps off tough day for Canadian skaters

Canada women's short track relay

Canada's short track relay team gets silver in the women's 3000-metre relay. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty)

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Canada has won the silver medal in the women's 3,000-metre short track speed skating relay at the Sochi Olympics.

The Canadians were upgraded to silver from bronze after the Chinese team was disqualified because the Chinese skaters did not immediately leave the race track after exchanging to their teammates.

Canada's team — Marianne St-Gelais, Valérie Maltais, Marie-Ève Drolet and Jessica Hewitt — was one of the bright spots on a crash-filled day at Iceberg Skating Palace. Earlier on Tuesday, St-Gelais crashed out of the women's 1,000 metres, while Charles Hamelin fell in the men's 500. 

The relay also had a key spill, but this time it helped Canada.

South Korea took the gold medal with a time of four minutes 9.498 seconds, while the Italians — a team well back in the race after Italy's Arianna Fontana fell during an exchange midway through the race, causing them to fall back — were upgraded to bronze upon China's disqualification. 

Korea's Shim Suk Hee passed China's Li Jianrou heading into the final turn to give Korea the gold for the fifth time in the last six Olympic Winter Games. 

The disqualification was a role reversal from Vancouver 2010, when Korea was disqualified for impeding and China was promoted to the gold medal.

The Chinese were not happy about the disqualification, but were resigned to it. 

"According to the judges, When [Yang] Zhou exchanged, she was on the track and impeded skaters behind her. But according to what I saw, there were two to three metres between her and the Korean skater and a skater is allowed to go on to the track when they exchange," Li Yan, China's coach, said. 

"The judges' decision is the final one. We are disappointed, but we respect it."

For the Canadians, the silver medal is notable for a big reason: Canada has now won a medal in every single Olympic short track speed skating relay since the sport's introduction to the Olympics as a medal sport in 1992. 

Russia won the B final after taking the lead with six laps remaining to finish fourth overall. 

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