Five more medals for Canada to conclude short track speed skating World Cup

François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., each stepped on the podium twice on Sunday to highlight a five-medal performance for Canada to conclude the first stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In the men’s 1,000, Olympic champion Ahn Hyun-soo of South Korea took the gold finishing ahead of Tremblay in second and Mathieu Giroux of Montreal, who placed third for the bronze. The race was initially called back after three of the four finalists crashed halfway through. South Korea’s Lee Ho-suk was disqualified, leaving three skaters.

"Mathieu had a problem with his blade so it came down between Ahn and I," said Tremblay, the gold medallist in the 500 on Saturday and a double medallist at last season’s Olympics. "I was pleased with how I raced. It’s great to start the season on such a strong note."

In the men’s 5,000-metre relay the South Koreans took the gold edging the second-place Canadians at the finish. The Canadian racers were Tremblay, Hamelin, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and Steve Robillard of Montreal.

"It came down to the last relay between Ahn and I in the last two laps," said Tremblay. "I did my best to protect the lead but Ahn is very dangerous every time he steps on the ice. As a team we did a lot of good things in this race and I think we’re on track to eventually beat the Koreans."

Hamelin added a bronze in the men’s 1,500 with Jean placing fourth.

In the women’s 3,000 relay, South Korea took the gold with China second and Canada third. The Canadian skaters were Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal, Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Raphaele Lemieux of Riviere-du-Loup, Que.

"Our women’s team has been hit by injuries so these results are better than expected," said Canadian national team coach Martin Gagné of Montreal. "Our goal is to peak for the world championships (in March) and that’s what we’re going to keep focused on."

In the 1,000 metres, Roberge placed sixth and Overland seventh. In the 1,500, Leblanc-Boucher was seventh, Nita Avrith of Montreal ninth and Lemieux 11th.

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