Charles Hamelin wins bronze for Canada at short track speed skating World Cup

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., won the bronze medal Friday to open the third stop on the short track speed skating circuit which is also serving as the first part of an Olympic qualifier for this February’s Games in Turin, Italy.

In the men’s 1,500-metre, Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., took the gold in 2:27.716 with Ho-Suk Lee of South Korea second in 2:27.786 and Hamelin third in 2:27.982 for his first medal this season on the circuit. Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., was fourth in the final in 2:28.059.

“It was a race that didn’t have a lot of action,” said Hamelin, 21, who has reached the 1,500 final at all three World Cups this season. “It was more about strategy and I was feeling a bit nervous because nothing seemed to be happening. But it’s not surprising it turned out that way considering the importance of the race. With four laps to go I decided to get in front but I was passed on the last turn.

“I’m happy with my medal. I did a good job managing my race.”

Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal was eliminated in the semifinals for seventh.

In the women’s 1,500, Sun-Yu Jin led South Korea to a 1-2 finish clocking 2:33.578 with Eun-Kyung Choi second in 2:33.779 and Yang Yang of China third in 2:33.853.

Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal, Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., were eliminated in the semifinals and ranked 10th, 11th and 17th respectively.

Both the Canadian men and women won their relay qualifying heats to advance to the semfinals. The men’s relay members were Hamelin, Guilmette, Eric Bedard of Ste-Thecle, Que., and Francois-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que. The women relay members were Overland, Vicent, Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que.

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 event.