Canada advances to relay semifinals at world junior short track speed skating championships

South Korea finished 1-2 in both 1,500-metre finals while Canada advanced to the men’s and women’s relay semifinals Friday to open the world junior short track speed skating championships.

In the women’s 1,500 final, Eun-Ju Jung of South Korea took the gold in 2:36.943 with her compatriot Yun-Mi Kang second in 2:37.004 and Linlin Su of China third in 2:37.232.

Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Que., were eliminated in the semifinals placing eighth and 15th respectively and Émilie Nadeau-Benoit of Longueuil, Que., was ousted in the quarterfinals for 19th.

"Anouk had a very strong day unfortunately she was passed by a Chinese skater on the last lap in her semifinal for the final berth into the final," said Canadian coach Nicolas Bacon. "Kalyna is inexperienced at this level and to get that far was excellent."

In the men’s 1,500 final, Ho-Suk Lee of South Korea, the defending overall champion, won the gold medal clocking two minutes and 17.479 seconds. His compatriot Ki-Deok Kwon was second in 2:18.065 and Jon Eley of Britain third in 2:18.864.

Malcolm Therrien of St-Romuald, Que., and Mathieu Lefrançois-Gauvreau of Montreal reached the semifinals but were disqualified in their races for 15th and 17th respectively. Mathieu Giroux of Montreal, a bronze medallist in the event last year, was leading his quarterfinal race but lost his balance when he touched another skater. He finished 29th overall.

"We had some bad luck," said Bacon. "Malcolm and Mathieu (Lefrançois-Gauvreau) raced well enough to be in the final."

In the men’s 2,000 relay, Canada with Therrien, Lefrançois-Gauvreau and Giroux placed second in its heat to Hungary to advance to the semis on Saturday.

The Canadian women with Leblanc-Boucher, Roberge and Nadeau-Benoit were also second in their 2,000 relay heat to Russia to also advance to the semifinals.


Competition continues Saturday.

Friday’s leading results at the world junior short track speed skating championships in Beijing (all distances in metres):


MEN


1,500

1. Ho-Suk Lee, South Korea, 2:17.479

2. Ki-Deok Kwon, South Korea, 2:18.065

3. Jon Eley, Britain, 2:18.864

4. Baoku Sui, China, 2:18.915

5. Paul Hermann, Germany, 2:19.159

6. Liang Cui, China, 2:19.232

7. Ze Hu, China, 2:20.920.


Canadians:

15. Malcolm Therrien, St-Romuald, Que.

17. Mathieu Lefrançois-Gauvreau, Montreal

29. Mathieu Giroux, Montreal.


2000 relay (top-two to semifinal)

Heat 1

1. Hungary, 2:57.289

2. Canada (Lefrançois-Gauvreau; Giroux; Therrien), 2:59.933

3. Poland, 3 :03.555

4. Russia, 3:03.618.


Heat 2

1. China, 2:56.123

2. U.S. 3:02.277

3. Kazakhstan, 3:08.018.


Heat 3

1. France, 2:51.869

2. Japan, 2:52.413

3. Britain, 2:52.505

4. Mongolia, disqualified.


Heat 4

1. South Korea, 2:51.988

2. Italy, 2:53.490

3. Israel, 3:01.803

4. Chinese Taipei, 3:06.002.


WOMEN


1,500

1. Eun-Ju Jung, South Korea, 2:36.943

2. Yun-Mi Kang, South Korea, 2:37.004

3. Linlin Su, China, 2:37.232

4. Tatiana Borodulina, Russia, 2:37.441

5. Hio-Jung Kim, U.S., 2:37.559

6. Mile Zhu, China, 2:38.148.


Canadians

8. Anouk Leblanc-Boucher, Montreal

15. Kalyna Roberge, Ste-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Que.

19. Émilie Nadeau-Benoit, Longueuil, Que.


2000 relay (top-two to semifinal)

Heat 1

1. South Korea, 3:07.002

2. Germany, 3:17.215

3. Israel, 3:22.365.


Heat 2

1. Italy, 3:11.640

2. Japan, 3:12.015

3. Hungary, 3:13.022.


Heat 3

1. Russia, 3:06.453

2. Canada (Leblanc-Boucher; Nadeau-Benoit;
Roberge), 3 :07.099

3. Chinese Taipei, 3 :23.398.


Heat 4

1. China, 3:05.027

2. U.S., 3:08.948

3. Kazakhstan, 3:35.888.