Canada wins gold & bronze at short track speed skating world juniors

Kalyna Roberge of St-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., and Jessica Gregg of Edmonton won gold and bronze medals respectively on Saturday in the women’s 500-metres at the short track speed skating world junior championships.

Roberge placed first in 46.682 seconds passing two skaters from the outside on the final turn. Sun-Young Park of South Korea was second in 46.964 and Gregg third in 47.063.

"Kalyna is a true racer," said Canadian coach Yves Hamelin of Montreal. "Today she reacted to every situation that was thrown at her. She made lighting quick decisions even at high speeds. And her agility is amazing. She can pass from the inside and outside better than anyone here."

Gregg, the daughter of former Edmonton Oilers defenceman Randy Gregg - who is the Canadian team’s doctor - wasn’t expected to win a medal in her international debut.

"Jessica really blew us away with her start," said Hamelin. "It’s probably the best start we’ve seen here this weekend. She was the first off the line in every race so she was always the one to catch."

Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa was eliminated in the quarterfinals for 17th spot.

Park remains first overall at 55 points, Roberge follows in second at 42 and Gregg climbs into a tie for fourth at 13.

The men’s 500 was won by Liang Cui of China. Guillaume Bastille of Longueuil, Que., and Francois Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., were eliminated in the quarterfinals for 13th and 16th spot. Mathieu Giroux of Montreal was ousted in the second round for 18th place.

Two-time defending overall champion Ho-Suk Lee of South Korea leads the overall standings with 47 points while Giroux, second in the 1,500 Friday, stands fourth at 21.

The Canadian trios advanced to the finals for both the men’s and women’s relay which ends the competition on Sunday.