Jean wins silver & Hamelin bronze

Olivier Jean wins silver and Charles Hamelin bronze at World Cup in Calgary

CALGARY – Canadians Olivier Jean and Charles Hamelin stepped on the podium today at the Samsung ISU World Cup at the Olympic Oval in Calgary, to give Canada its first medals of the season. Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., took the silver medal in the 1,000 metres and Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., captured the 1,500-metre bronze medal. Canada had skaters in each of the four finals today. (Photo right: Olivier Jean, Credit: Arno Hoogveld, DayDream Images)

In the men's 1,000-metre final, Jean lead the race up until the last lap when Russian skater Vladimir Grigorev passed him to win in a time of one minute and 24.670 seconds. Jean came in at 1:24.813 for second place and J.R. Celski of the United States was third in 1:24.889.

"It (silver medal) feels good. It's the start of the season," said Jean in winning his 17th career World Cup medal. "Of course I wanted gold to start the season on top of the podium. I did some great racing, but it wasn't perfect. I have some homework to do for the 1,000-metre race next weekend in Montreal."

Fighting off two Koreans in the 1,500-metre final, Hamelin could not make up ground on Jinku Noh, who won gold in a time of two minutes and 14.588 seconds, and silver medalist Yook-Gy Kwak (2:14.813). Hamelin had a time of 2:14.871.

"I'm not completely happy (with the bronze medal), I would have liked to be on the highest step of the podium," said the Hamelin of his 50th career World Cup medal. "I did two mistakes in the race the cost me that chance (to win gold). I hope I will do better tomorrow. The 500 metres will be another game."

In the women's 1,000-metre final, Friday's record-breaker, Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., finished in fourth place after received a penalty. Marie-Ève Drolet of Laterrière, Que., represented Canada in the 1,500-metre final. She was interfered with by Russian skater Olga Belyakova and ended up in sixth place.

Here is how Canada’s skaters fared today:

Marie-Ève Drolet of Laterrière, Que.: In 1,500-metre, she was second in her semifinal heat and took sixth place in the final after being interfered with and falling with two laps to go.
Jessica Gregg of Edmonton: In 1,500-metre semifinals, she was sixth and did not advance to the main final. She was fourth in the B final.
Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C.: In 1,000-metre quarterfinals, she was fourth and eliminated.
Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que.: In the first 1,000 metres, she reached the final after winning her quarterfinal and semifinal heats. She received a penalty in the final placing fourth.
Marianne St. Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que.: In 1,500-metre semifinals, she was fourth and did not advance to the main final. In the final B, she came in first place.
Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que.: In 1,000-metre quarterfinals, she was third and eliminated.

Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que.: In 1,500-metre semifinals, he finished in fourth place not making it to the main final. In the B final, he took third place.
Michael Gilday of Yellowknife: In 1,500-metre semifinals, he was penalized and eliminated.
Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que.: In 1,500-metre, he won the bronze medal. He was in second place in his semifinal heat.
François Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que.: In 1,000-metre, he won his quarterfinal heat but was penalized in the semifinal.
Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que.: In 1,000-metre, he won the silver medal. He won his quarterfinal heat and was second in the semifinal.
Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta.: He won his first 1,000-metre repechage heat but was penalized in the repechage semifinal and eliminated.

In today's relay semifinals, Drolet, Maltais, St. Gelais and Truchon took second place behind China to reach Sunday's women's final, also featuring Japan and Korea. Bastille, Gilday, Charles Hamelin and Jean took first place in their semifinal heat ahead of the Russians. The men's final will be a battle between Canada, China, Korea and Russia.

On Sunday, there will be the 500-metre and second 1,000-metre races, as well as the relay finals. CBC Sports will provide tape-delay coverage of Sunday's races Monday from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. ET.

For the second 1,000-metre race, Drolet, Gregg and Truchon qualified for the quarterfinals. On the men's side, Gilday and McFarlane are in the quarterfinals, but Bastille will have to qualify through the repechage. In the 500 metres, Maltais and St. Gelais are through to the quarterfinals, while Hewitt will take the repechage route to join them. Charles Hamelin, Francois Hamelin and Oliver Jean are in the quarterfinals.

The circuit continues the following weekend with World Cup #2 in Montreal, from Friday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28. The third World Cup will be held in Nagoya, Japan from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and fourth will be in Shanghai, China the following weekend, Dec. 7-9.

With today's two medals, the World Cup Podium Tracker by Intact Insurance stands at $2,000. 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.