Canada’s Charles Hamelin wins silver medal at short track speed skating World Cup

Charles Hamelin on the podium, photo: www.speedskating-online.com
HEERENVEEN, The Netherlands – Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., won the silver medal Saturday in the men’s 500 metres at the third stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Si-Bak Sung of South Korea won the gold in 42.394, Hamelin followed in 42.458 for his fourth individual World Cup medal this season and Satoru Terao of Japan was third in 42.575. The race was fast from the start and featured several passes.

‘’I was very pleased with my race,’’ said Hamelin, a triple world championship medallist last season. ‘’I just wished I would have won it. The start was crucial. If you’re not at the front from the start in a fast race like that it’s tough to comeback. But I’ve been breaking in a new set of blades the last few weeks and I’m feeling more and more confident with them. That was very positive for me.’’

Alex Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke, Que., won the B final for sixth overall while Steve Robillard of Montreal was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

In the men’s 1,500, So-Huk Lee led South Korea to a medal sweep. François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal won the B final for eighth overall while Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., and Mathieu Giroux of Montreal were third and sixth in the same B final.

Meng Wang of China won the women’s 500 while Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., Anne Maltais of Quebec City and Valérie Lambert of Sherbrooke, Que., finished 1-2-3 in the B Final for fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively.

‘’I was fourth off the line and stayed back a bit while the other girls battled it out,’’ said Roberge, who was relegated to the B final after falling in a tempestuous semifinal. ‘’I gained speed and set myself up for passing the others in the straightaway.’’

Lambert is making her World Cup debut this weekend.

‘’The first races I was pretty stressed and I had no idea what to expect,’’ said Lambert. ‘’But once I got over that I was pretty excited about the races. It’s a great experience. The 500 is my speciality and I wanted to do well. And I was very happy to go as far as the B final.’’

In the women’s 1,500, Eun-Ju Jung led South Korea to a 1-2 finish. Vicent and Overland were eliminated in the semifinals while Andrea Do-Duc of Montreal was ousted in the repechage.

In the men’s 5,000 relay, Canada was disqualified late in its semifinal heat. Racing for Canada were Tremblay, Hamelin, Monette, Giroux. South Korea won the heat followed by the U.S., and China. Canada was disqualified when Tremblay made a passing manoeuvre on a Chinese skater with a lap and half to go.

‘’I didn’t agree with the call but those things happen sometimes,’’ said Tremblay. ‘’We needed a top-two finish to make the final so I had to make my move.’’

The Canadian women’s relay was disqualified in Friday’s opening round.

Competition ends Sunday.