Canada wins silver & bronze at short track speed skating team worlds

BEIJING – Canada won the silver medal in men’s competition and the bronze in the women’s event on Sunday at the world team championships in short track speed skating.

In the team event, there are heats in the 500, and 1,000 metre events, with one entry per country, one 3,000 metre race with two entries per country and a relay. The winner in each heat earns five points for his or her country, second place three points and third place one. Relay points are doubled.

In men’s competition, the U.S., upset Canada for the gold medal tabulating 38 points. The Canadians, the defending champions, followed at 32 and South Korea was third at 30. The Canadian men have finished first or second at every team worlds since 1998.

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., was the sole Canadian to win a heat on Sunday taking his 500-metre race. His brother François Hamelin, Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., and Steve Robillard of Montreal were second in their respective 500 races.

In the 1,000 heats, Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles and Charles Hamelin were second in their respective heats while Jean-François Monette and Robillard were fourth. In the 3,000, Marc-André Monette and Charles Hamelin were second and fourth.

In the 5,000 relay final for all the marbles, the U.S., edged Canada to take the title. Canada led the race with one lap to go when Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., made a spectacular pass to move from third to first.

‘’We would have really liked gold, especially that it went right down to the wire,’’ said Marc-André Monette. ‘’But looking back we had a great battle with the Americans and Koreans and came out of it pretty well. This is a very intense competition with a completely different feeling and atmosphere than an individual world championships. Because you’re racing for your team you feel an extra shot of adrenaline for each race.’’

In women’s competition, China was the victor with 45 points, defending champion South Korea followed at 35 and Canada was third at 27 to reach the podium for a fourth straight team worlds.

Canada’s best performances were also in the 500 heats with Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., Jessica Gregg of Edmonton and Anne Maltais of Quebec City each placing second. Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., was third in her heat.

In the 1,000, Roberge was second in her heat, Amanda Overland of Montreal was third while Vicent and Maltais were fourth.

In the 3,000 Roberge was second and Overland third while Canada took third in the 3,000 relay.

‘’We’re very satisfied with our performance,’’ said Roberge who battled back pains this weekend. ‘’The Chinese and Koreans are stronger than ever and we did a good job fending off an improving American team.’’