Canada misses medals to open short track worlds

South Korea showed its might to open the world short track speed skating championships Friday as it claimed five of the six medals in the opening 1,500–metre events including a sweep in the men’s race.

In the men’s 1,500, Hyun Soo-Ahn took the gold in 2:25.271, to edge teammates Suk-Woo Song second in 2:25.326 and Seung Jae-Lee third in 2:25.390. Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., was fourth in 2:25.625.

Two Canadians reached the six-man final with Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., fifth in 2:25.712 and Jeff Scholten of Fredericton sixth in 2:26.414. Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal was eliminated in the semifinal and finished 11th.

"I think I was satisfied just to make the finals and I’ll have to change that attitude," said Monette, the 500 World Cup champion this season, competing at his first world championships. "It’s early in the competition and I plan to do a lot better."

In the women’s 1,500, South Korea was 1-2 with Eun Kyung-Choi, a triple Olympic medallist in 2002, first in 2:24.866, 17-year-old Min Jee-Kim second in 2:24.942 and defending champion Yang Yang of China third in 2:25.147.

Triple World Cup champion Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., Tania Vicent of Montreal and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., were all eliminated in semifinals placing seventh, eighth and ninth respectively.

"I would have preferred to be in the final but overall I’m pleased," said Kraus. "I had a very deep semifinal draw."

The Canadian women won their 3,000-metre relay semifinal heat finishing ahead of Italy in second. Both teams qualify for the final. Goulet-Nadon, Kraus, Vicent and Amanda Overland of Cambridge, Ont., raced for Canada. China and Bulgaria finished 1-2 in the other semifinal to advance to the final.

Competition continues Saturday with the men’s and women’s 500.