Men’s relay team wins silver at World Junior Short Track Championships

Men’s relay team wins silver at World Junior Short Track Championships in Poland
Yoan Gauthier is ninth overall and Genève Bélanger 10th

WARSAW, Poland
- In the last race of the 2013 World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Warsaw, Poland, the men’s relay team earned the only medal of the weekend for the Canadian squad. Canada won the silver medal behind gold medallist Korea and ahead of Japan, who took bronze. The final day of racing included the 1,000 metres, the super 1,500-metre final for the top ranked skaters and relay finals.

In the four-country men’s relay final with Japan and the United States, the Canadians and Koreans exchanged leads four times until the winners took command with seven laps to go in the 27-lap race. Korea crossed the finish line in four minutes and 7.393 seconds, followed by Canada at 4:08.585, Japan at 4:09.834 and the Americans at 4:17.207.

Canada’s silver medallists included Yoan Gauthier, of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., Calgary’s Sasha Fathoullin, David Goulet, of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., and Toronto’s William Preudhomme. The Canadian women’s team placed fifth overall. They were third in Saturday’s semifinal and didn’t qualify for final.

In the final overall individual ranking for junior men, Gauthier was ninth, Fathoullin took 16th place and Goulet was 27th. On the junior women’s side, Montreal’s Genève Bélanger was 10th, Audrey Phaneuf, of Boucherville, Que., earned 16th spot and Joanie Gervais, of Jonquière, Que., was 26th.

The men’s and women’s 1,000-metre race had five rounds, including the final. Skaters went through the preliminaries, qualifying heats, quarterfinals and semifinals to reach the medal race.

In the women’s 1,000 metres, Bélanger took 10th place overall after reaching the quarterfinals. She won her first race, placed second in the qualifying heat, but was third in her quarterfinals. Phaneuf was 12th overall, after placing second in her two first races and third in the quarterfinals. With a second place finish in her first race and fourth in the qualifying heat, Gervais placed 32nd out of 63 skaters.

Gauthier was Canada’s top skater in the men’s 1,000 metres with a ninth place finish. He won his first two races to reach the quarterfinals. In a tight race with the Korean and Chinese skaters, Gauthier dropped to third in the last three laps and could not make up the difference to advance to the semifinals.

Fathoullin took 33rd place with a win in his first race and fifth place showing in the second. Goulet won his preliminary race and was second in his qualifying heat, but was penalized for interference and ranked 38th overall out of 81 competitors.