Canadians win two medals & breaks two national records at short track speed skating World Cup

Veteran Eric Bedard of Ste-Thecle, Que., and rookie Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., won silver and bronze medals respectively in Saturday’s 500-metre races at the third stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Canadian records were also set by Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., and the women’s relay.

In the men’s 500, three-time defending overall world champion Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea took the gold in 41.994 seconds with Bedard second in 42.210 and Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., third in 42.362. François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal was fourth in 42.514.

‘’The ice here usually fast so the times weren’t a surprise,’’ said Bedard with his second individual World Cup medal this season. ‘’I had a great start to the race and kept a good pace for the first lap before going hard in the final three laps. Ahn needed to make a nice move to pass me at the end so I’m very satisfied with my race.’’

Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., was eliminated in the semifinal for seventh.

In the women’s 500, Meng Wang of China is three-for-three in the event this season after another win Saturday in 44.070. World record holder Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria was second in 44.094 and Roberge, 19, was third for a second straight World Cup in a personal best 41.188.

‘’I showed today that I really belong at this level of racing,’’ said Roberge. ‘’I didn’t get off to a good start but I was able to gain some speed quickly and battle to the finish. I was hoping to get by Radanova for second but there was no room. With three girls in the top-eight today that also increases my hopes to race this event at the Olympics.’’

Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., were eliminated in the semifinals for fifth and sixth respectively. Kraus clocked 43.839 seconds for third spot in her semifinal heat. It wasn’t enough to advance but the time eclipsed the previous national mark of 44.184 held by Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., since 2003.

Both Canadian relays advanced to the finals. The men won their semifinal heat with Tremblay, Turcotte, Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., and Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal. The women were second in their heat with Roberge, Leblanc-Boucher, Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., and Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., clocking a Canadian record 4:14.230. The previous mark was 4:15.738 in 2002.

Results from the competition which runs until Sunday, will be combined with those from next week's World Cup meet in The Hague, Netherlands, 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.