Double gold for Canada at short track speed skating World Cup

François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal won the gold medal in the men’s 500-metres then helped Canada to victory in the relay while Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., added silver in the men’s 1,000 to conclude the second stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In the men’s 500, Tremblay overcame a bout with the flu bug this week to earn his second gold at the distance this season clocking 42.992. Takahiro Fujimoto of Japan was second in 43.167 and Kyung-Taek Sung of South Korea third in 43.182. Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., fell in the quarterfinal and was eliminated.

"I didn’t feel as strong as usual," said Tremblay, a double Olympic medallist last season. "So I started the race a bit slower. My goal was to keep myself in contention for the gold and battle it out at the end. The Koreans came after me with three laps to go but I stood my ground. This is the best start to a season in my career."

In the men’s 5,000 relay, Tremblay, Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., Jean and Steve Robillard of Montreal combined for the gold in 6:52.025. China was second in 6:52.480. South Korea, last weekend’s winner and the Olympic champs, had a fall with 12 laps to go and took third at 6:57.552.

"It’s great for our confidence after placing second last weekend," said Tremblay. "We would have liked to battle the Koreans until the finish. We felt really confident about our race."

In the men’s 1,000, Monette battled three South Koreans and snared the silver for his first career individual World Cup medal. Hyun-Kon Kim of South Korea was the winner in 1:30.933 with Monette second in 1:31.138 and Olympic champion Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea third in 1:33.157. Ho-Suk Lee, the third South Korean, was disqualified.

Mathieu Giroux and Steve Robillard, both of Montreal, were second and fourth in the B final for fifth and seventh overall.

"It’s a special day for me," said Monette, 25, in his rookie season on the circuit. "Especially to get a medal against such a tough field. It was a tactical game with a lot of speed shifting going on. The key for me over these first two World Cups was to never get frustrated. I just tried to keep learning. I gained a lot of experience."

In women’s competition, Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal was third in the 500 B final for seventh overall while Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., was disqualified in the semifinal. In the 1,000, Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., was fourth in the B final for eighth overall. Nita Avrith of Montreal and Raphaele Lemieux of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

The Canadian team heads home Monday. They won five medals this weekend and seven last weekend at season opener in China.