Gregg & Hamelin take silver medals & Jean wins bronze

Jessica Gregg and Charles Hamelin take silver medals and Oliver Jean wins bronze
Day 2 of the Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup in Montreal

MONTREAL
– At today's Samsung ISU World Cup #2 at the Maurice-Richard Arena in Montreal, Canadians Charles Hamelin and Jessica Gregg won silver medals in their respective 500-metre finals, while teammate Oliver Jean earned the bronze medal in the 500 metres. Canada placed six skaters in today's four finals for the first 500-metre and 1,500-metre races.

In the men's 500 metres, Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., and Jean of Lachenaie, Que., exchanged the top two spots throughout the race, but Wenhao Liang of China took the gold medal in the last laps in a time of 41.845 seconds. Hamelin was second in 41.888 seconds and Jean had a time of 42.091 seconds for third place.

"We had a tough battle Oliver and me and I believe that's what cost us gold and silver," said Hamelin. "We lost a lot of speed while passing each other. The ice here is not fast enough to make tight passes. I'm still happy with the silver medal. It means that I raced well today."

"We (with Charles Hamelin) had a big fight and it made us lose a bit of speed," agreed Jean. "The ice is soft so it doesn't help us maintain speed, especially with a lot of passing."

There were also two Canadians in the women's 500-metre final with Jessica Gregg of Edmonton standing on the podium for the silver medal. Teammate Marianne St. Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que., was fourth. Meng Wang of China won the gold medal in a time of 44.568 seconds and her teammate Qiuhong Liu captured the bronze (44.644). Gregg had a time of 44.631 and St. Gelais of 44.710 seconds.

"It was really close at the line," said Gregg. "All four of us were very fast and I knew it was going to come down to that (finish line). I just tried to hold my position and stay in second."

In both the men's and women's 1,500 metres, Canada was kept off the podium and both skaters took fifth place. Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Michael Gilday of Yellowknife were the only Canadians in their 1,500-metre finals.

Here is how Canada’s skaters fared today in their individual races:

Marie-Ève Drolet
of Laterrière, Que.: She ranked ninth overall in the 1,500 metres. She was third in her semifinal heat and placed third in the B final.
Jessica Gregg of Edmonton: She took the silver medal in the 500 metres. She was second in her quarterfinal heat and was first in her semifinal race to reach the final.
Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C.: She ranked 10th overall in the 1,500 metres. She was fourth in her semifinal heat and placed fourth in the B final.
Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que.: She ranked fifth overall in the 1,500 metres. She won her semifinal race and was fifth in the final.
Marianne St. Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que.: She ranked fourth overall in the 500 metres. She won her quarterfinal and semifinal heats. She finished fourth in the final.
Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que.: She ranked fifth overall in the 500 metres. She won her quarterfinal race, but was third in her semifinals. She took first place in the B final.

Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que.: He was eliminated from the 1,500 metres on Friday for not wearing his timing chips in the preliminary round.
Michael Gilday of Yellowknife: He finished fifth overall in the 1,500 metres. He won his semifinal heat and then placed fifth in the final.
Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que.: He won the silver in the 500 metres. He won his quarterfinal and semifinal heats to reach the final.
François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que.: He finished ninth overall in the 500 metres. He won his quarterfinal heat, but fell in the semifinals. He reached the main 500-metre draw by winning both his morning repechage races.
Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que.: He took the bronze medal in the 500 metres. He won his quarterfinal heat and was second in the semifinals to reach the final. He reached the main 500-metre draw by winning both of his morning repechage races.
Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta.: He finished 21st overall in the 1,500 metres. Having to pass through the 1,500-metre race repechage to reach the main semifinals, he won his first repechage race but was second in the repechage semifinal. He did not move on to the main draw.

Drolet, Gregg, Maltais and St. Gelais teamed up to qualify for the women's relay final with a second place finish to Korea in the semifinals. The Netherlands and Russia were third and fourth respectively in the same heat, but Russia was advanced to the A final. In the other women's semifinal, China and Japan advanced, placing first and second, while the United States and Italy were in third and fourth spots.

The men's relay semifinals saw Canada end up in third place after Jean lost his balance trying to make a pass. Great Britain was first followed by China and Japan was fourth. Bastille, Charles Hamelin, François Hamelin and Jean represented Canada. They will skate in the B final. In the other semifinal, Korea and the United States moved on to the final, while France, the Netherlands and Italy were eliminated.

On missing the men's relay final Jean noted, "Yes, we're disappointed for sure, and I'm especially disappointed because I made the mistake. I have to make better passes than that and be more careful with the contact."

On Sunday, the World Cup will feature the 1,000-metre and second 500-metre races, as well as the relay finals.

The circuit continues the third World Cup in Nagoya, Japan from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and fourth in Shanghai, China the following weekend, Dec. 7-9.

After today's three medals, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance for the 2012-13 season stands at $8,000 (6 silver; 2 bronze). Intact Insurance will award $1,000 in cash and prizes to a local speed skating club with each individual medal win. The last two seasons, Intact Insurance awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.