Canada wins silver in women’s relay at short track speed skating World Cup

Canada won the silver medal in the women’s relay and two Canadian records were broken on Sunday conclude the third stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In the women’s 3,000-metre relay, South Korea took the gold medal in four minutes and 12.43 seconds. Canada with Alana Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal followed in 4:14.154 to beat the previous national mark of 4:14.230 set in Saturday’s semifinal. Italy was third more than seven seconds behind Canada.

“Our relay was flying out there today,” said Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., who skated in Saturday’s semi. “Our timing and exchanges were really on and we are showing we can really give the Koreans a run for their money.”

In the women’s 1,000, Overland was eliminated in the semifinals for eighth spot overall. In her opening heat she clocked 1:30.823 to eclipse the previous national mark of 1:31.130 set by Kraus last year. Vicent and Kraus were eliminated in the quarterfinals for 10th and 12th. Sun Yu-Jin of South Korea broke the world record in the final clocking 1:30.037 for the gold.

“I’m feeling really good about my skating,” said Overland, the Canadian overall champion. “To get that record right off the bat was really good for my confidence.”

On the men’s side, Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., was fourth in the 1,000, fifth in the 3,000 and teamed up with Francois-Louis Tremblay of Montreal, Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., and Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal for fourth in the 5,000 relay.

Eric Bedard of Ste-Thecle, Que., and Tremblay were eliminated in the 1,000 semifinal for sixth and seventh. The Canadian men posted three top-eight finish in all three individual Olympic distances (500, 1000 and 1500) this weekend. If they can maintain that pace at next weekend’s World Cup in the Netherlands, they’ll have the maximum three spots in each of those races at the Turin Games in Italy.

“As a team we certainly reached our objectives,” said Turcotte. “It certainly puts us in a strong position to get all the possible spots for the Olympics next week.”

Results from the competition will be combined with those from next week's World Cup meet to determine how many skaters from each country will qualify for the Turin Games in February.

Each country can win up to three spots in each individual event while the top-eight countries in the relays earn berths.