Charles Hamelin captures more short track gold
Canadian relay team wins 5,000m event
Levis, Que., native Charles Hamelin won his second short track gold medal in as many days following his victory in the men’s World Cup 1,000 metres Sunday in Turin, Italy.
Hamelin, who won gold in the 500m on Saturday, reached the top of the podium with a time of one minute, 23.446 seconds.
Russian Victor An earned his second straight silver medal of the weekend, finishing in 1:23.487, while countryman Vladimir Grigorev placed third with a time of 1:23.795.
Lachenaie, Que., skater Olivier Jean, a bronze medallist in the 500m on Saturday, settled for fourth at 1:23.817. Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., impressed again with a seventh-place finish.
Hamelin now sits atop the overall World Cup standings.
Canada’s relay team also won gold on Sunday after winning the men’s 5,000m event in 6:44.799. Russia (6:45.229) and the Netherlands (6:47.757) took silver and bronze, respectively.
It was a three-way battle on the men’s side for the relay crown between the three nations. But the Canadian team – made up of Charles and François Hamelin, Jean, Cournoyer and Michael Gilday – took control six laps from the finish line and never looked back.
Both Hamelin and the Canadian relay team will head to the Sochi Winter Games in February as defending Olympic champions.
Disappointing day for Canadian women
The women’s 3,000m relay race was successfully under way for the Canadians until the 14th lap, where a bad transition relinquished Canada to last place in 4:11.919.
Jessica Gregg (Edmonton, Alta.) Jessica Hewitt (Kamloops, B.C.) Marianne St-Gelais (St-Félicien, Que.) and Valérie Maltais (La Baie, Que.) skated extremely hard to make up for it, but couldn’t catch Italians, who claimed bronze.
Korea won gold in 4:10.600, followed by China (4:11.404) and Italy (4:11.844).
The Canadians won silver at the Olympics in Vancouver three years ago.
St-Gelais was the only Canadian to make the 1,000m finals. She took sixth place in 1:36.102 in a race that saw the Korean women sweep the top three spots with Suk Hee Shim, (1:25.223), Alang Kim (1:35.318) and Seung-Hi Park (1:59.828) earning medals.
The quarter-finals were not kind to Jessica Hewitt, who was sitting comfortably in second for the entire heat but was beaten in the last turn by her Chinese rival. Maltais fell with four laps to go and finished 17th.
The World Cup circuit moves to Kolomna, Russia (Nov. 14-17) for the last stage of Olympic qualifying, set to determine how many spots each country has earned for each distance.