Montreal’s Kalyna Roberge third overall at world junior short track speed skating championships

Kalyna Roberge of Montreal highlighted another strong Canadian showing at the world junior short track speed skating championships on Sunday finishing third overall in the women’s standings at a competition marred by poor ice conditions.

Roberge is Canada’s first overall medallist at the world juniors since Marie-Eve Drolet of Chicoutimi, Que., won consecutive women’s titles in 2000 and 2001.

Sun-Young Park led South Korea to a 1-2 finish overall with 89 points. Ji-Soo Jeon was second at 76 and Roberge, eighth overall last year, third at 63. Jessica Gregg, 16, of Edmonton, third in the 500, completed a sparkling international debut with fifth place overall.

"I’m just delighted with third overall it’s much better than I expected," said Roberge, 18. "To be able to finish ahead of some Koreans is a big step at this point in my career. I get to come back next year and hopefully I can do even better."

Roberge, the 500-metre winner on Saturday, started Sunday with a silver in the 1,000 just 0.12 seconds behind Jeon. In the 1,500 final, Park sealed the overall title with the victory while Gregg took fourth and Roberge fell on the first lap when she hit a rut in the ice.

"The ice conditions gave everybody a hard time," said Roberge, who was first overall after three of four distances. "The same thing happened to a Korean girl in the 1,000. Every stride you took your skate would head in a different direction. It made passing pretty dangerous."

Gregg and Roberge then added a bronze medal in the 2,000-metre relay with Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa.

On the men’s side, Ho-Suk Lee led South Korea to the medal sweep overall with his third consecutive world junior crown at 81 points. Mathieu Giroux of Montreal, third in the opening 1,500 on Friday, was sixth overall at 29 points and Guillaume Bastille of Longueuil, Que., seventh at eight points.

Bastille, Giroux and Francois Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., raced to bronze in a very close men’s 2,000 relay, again won by the Koreans. The Koreans also swept the medals in 1,000 and 1,500 men’s races on Sunday. Bastille was fourth in the 1,000 and Giroux fourth in the 1,500 final.

Canada completed the competition with one gold, two silver and four bronze its best showing since an eight-medal intake in 2000.