Canadians shutout of medals in 1,500 metre finals at short track speed skating worlds

South Koreans grabbed five of the six medals in Friday’s 1,500-metre races while Canadians were absent from the podium in first day action at the short track speed skating world championships.

In the men’s 1,500, Hyun-Soo Ahn led the Koreans to the medal sweep clocking 2:20.572 with Ho-Suk Lee second in 2:20.581 and Se-Jong Oh third in 2:20.842.

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Que., and double Olympic silver medallist François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal were eliminated in the semifinals for seventh, eighth and 11th respectively.

Hamelin broke his blade on his left skate at the world team championships last week in Montreal.

‘’I only received the new blade a couple of days ago and I wasn’t feeling comfortable with it today,’’ said Hamelin, fourth overall at last year’s worlds. ‘’That affected my passing ability and I wasn’t able to capitalize on my opportunities in the semifinal. I had to skate a lot harder and that just burned out my legs.’’

In the women’s 1,500, Sun-Yu Jin of South Korea took the gold in 2:21.948 with Meng Wang of China second in 2:22.027 and Eun-Kyung Choi of South Korea was third in 2:22.152.

Double Olympic medallist Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal, Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., were all ousted in the semifinals for eighth, 13th and 18th overall. Earlier Friday, Roberge was named the female junior athlete of the year at the Canadian Sport Awards in Toronto.

‘’I led most of my semifinal but I just ran out of gas,’’ said Leblanc-Boucher. ‘’I was cleanly beaten by the Chinese girl. I tried to keep her at bay but I just couldn’t. I was happy with my race in general, I kept my focus.’’

Canada qualified for the semifinals in the women’s 3,000 relay. Canada was second in its heat with Leblanc-Boucher, Roberge, Tania Vicent of Verchères, Que., and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C.

Competition continues through to Sunday.