Canada wins two medals at short track speed skating World Cup

Jean-Francois Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., and Tania Vicent of Montreal each won bronze medals in their respective 500-metre races on Saturday for Canada’s first two individual medals this season on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In the men’s 500-metres, Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea and Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., finished 1-2 for the second straight day. They clocked 42.486 and 42.495 respectively.

Monette, a question mark to travel overseas two weeks ago because of a back injury, took third in 42.752 while Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., was fourth in final in 42.798. Turcotte was also fourth in Friday’s 1,500.

With just over a lap to go, Monette passed Ohno to take the lead but their blades clashed and the Canadian’s skate was slightly damaged.

"I could feel there was something wrong with the skate on the next turn" said Monette. "I wasn’t able to gain any speed at all and I tried to race defensively. But aside from that, this was a very good day for me and a big improvement on last weekend. Right now my back is not bothering anymore."

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., was eliminated in the semifinal for seventh.

In the women’s 500, Tianyu Fu led China to a 1-2 finish clocking 44.969. Mile Zhu was second in 45.088 and Vicent earned her third career Word Cup individual medal and first in two seasons placing third in 46.263. American Alison Baver was disqualified for bumping Vicent on the last turn in attempt to pass the Canadian for third spot.

"Winning the medal keeps my confidence high," said Vicent. "It’s another step achieved and I hope to improve on that at the upcoming races. I think mentally I’m a much different skater internationally now and that’s made a big difference."

Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal was eliminated in the quarterfinals for 11th and Amanda Overland of Cambridge, Ont., was eliminated in the first round for 25th.

Competition ends Sunday.