Charles Hamelin earns second gold at Canada Post Open Championships

Charles Hamelin of Montreal and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., won their 500-metre races in comeback style Saturday at the Canada Post Championships short track speed skating competition.

In the men’s 500, Hamelin took the gold in 42.08 seconds with Francois-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., second in 42.33 and Darryl Rasmussen of Prince George, B.C., third at 42.55.

Hamelin, whose average speed in the race was 43 kilometres an hour, made an inside pass with about a lap and a half to go to take the lead and win his second gold of the competition. He also won the 1,500 on Friday.

"I didn’t want to fall behind early on," said Hamelin, who earned his first World Cup win and broke two Canadian records before the Christmas break. "I had to make some quick decisions on the ice but it worked. I never thought I’d come in here and win the first two races. I put a lot of emphasis on preparation especially on race day to make sure I’m ready."

In the overall standings after two of four distances, Hamelin is first with 2000 points, Tremblay follows at 1,482, Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., is third at 976, Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Que., and Steve Robillard of Montreal are tied for fourth, Daryl Rasmussen is sixth at 690 and his brother Cory Rasmussen seventh at 639.

In the women’s 500, Roberge earned her first Canadian senior title clocking 45.73 seconds. Chantale Sévigny of Sherbrooke, Que., was second in 45.84 to take the overall lead and Anna Maltais of Montreal third in 46.46.

At the world juniors earlier this month, Roberge, 18, won the gold medal in the 500 and placed third overall. She is now is hunt for a berth on the world senior team as well. In Saturday’s race she also overtook the lead with a lap and half left.

"I had one chance to make move during the race and I didn’t panic," said Roberge proudly. "I passed on the outside because there was no room on the inside. At the start there was a lot of bumping and I lost some speed. It’s a big day for me to win here especially in the 500 which is my best event."

Sévigny is first after two of four distances at 1,482 points with Roberge second at 1,443 and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal third at 1,359. Tania Vicent of Montreal is fourth at 1,046, Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., fifth at 986, Maltais sixth at 752 and Amanda Overland of Cambridge, Ont., seventh at 657.

The competition also serves in helping to determine Canada’s teams for the final two World Cups in Europe next month and the world championships in March.

Competition ends Sunday.