François Hamelin sprints to short track speed skating World Cup bronze

SALT LAKE CITY – Another Hamelin is making a name for himself in short track speed skating.

François Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., won the bronze medal on Sunday in the men’s 500-metre to conclude the sixth and final stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit. It was the first World Cup medal of his career.

Hamelin is the younger brother of established international short track star Charles Hamelin, who won Saturday’s 500 race.

In Sunday’s men’s 500, Si-Bak Sung led South Korea to a 1-2 finish clocking 41.160 with Yoon-Gy Kwak second in 41.256 and François Hamelin third in 41.371. Sung also lowered the world record to 41.051 in the semifinals. François Hamelin held the previous mark at 41.066 set earlier this season at team trials in Calgary.

‘’I’m very pleased to win the medal,’’ said Hamelin, who made his career World Cup debut last weekend in Quebec City. ‘’I wasn’t necessarily going for the win but I knew I was capable of getting on the podium. A world record was something I was proud to have, it was a nice bonus for me.’’

Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was eliminated in the semifinals for ninth overall and Guillaume Bastille of Montreal was ousted in the quarterfinals for 17th.

In the men’s 1,000, Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., took the gold in 1:27.137, Seung- Hoon Lee of South Korea was second in 1:27.223, his compatriot Ho-Suk Lee third in 1:49.650 and Charles Hamelin fourth in 1:51.758. Hamelin got tangled with another skater at the mid-way point and couldn’t make up lost time.

Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles was eliminated in the semis for eighth and Steve Robillard of Montreal was ousted in the quarterfinals for 15th place.

In the women’s 500, Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria won the gold medal. Anne Maltais of Quebec City was second in the B final for sixth overall while Amanda Overland of Montreal and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., were eliminated in the quarterfinals for ninth and 10th overall respectively.

In the women’s 1,000, Meng Wang of China was the victor. Valérie Lambert of Sherbrooke, Que., was the top Canadian reaching the quarterfinals for ninth place.

Canada was disqualified in the women’s relay final for interference after crossing the finish line in fourth. Canada won the men’s 5,000-metre relay B final for fifth spot.

In the final World Cup standings, François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal was second in the 500 behind Sung. Canada was also second in the men’s relay and men’s team standings. Canada was third in the women’s team standings.

‘’It was promising for us to see our new faces like François and Guillaume on the men’s team do so well,’’ said Derrick Campbell, Canada’s men’s team national coach. ‘’They really performed, won medals and made some finals. They’re ready to make an impact on the scene.’’

Women’s team coach Martin Gagné is also confident with his troops for next month’s world championships.

‘’On the World Cup this season we would have liked more medals,’’ said Gagné ‘’But compared to last year our women are much more ready for the worlds this time. The are definitely on the rise right now. They are all skating extremely well. I’m not worried with this team. We just have to carry our momentum through to the worlds.’’