Montreal’s Steve Robillard wins gold at short track speed skating competition

Steve Robillard of Montreal won the gold medal in the men’s 500-metre on Friday at the 18-country Alta Valtelina Trophy short track speed skating competition.

Robillard, a member of last season’s world champion relay team, clocked 42.200 seconds finishing ahead of Peter Darazs of Hungary second in 42.207. Rémi Beaulieu of Montreal and Marc-André Monette of Pointe-Aux Trembles, Que., tied for third 42.277.

‘’It was a bit of an adventure to get to the final so I’m very pleased with the win,’’ said Robillard. ‘’In the final I made sure I started in front from the start. It’s a very good experience to be here.’’

Mathieu Giroux and Olivier Jean, both of Montreal, were eliminated in the semis for fifth and seventh overall.

In the women’s 500, Erika Huszar of Hungary took the gold in 45.517 with Yvonne Kunze of Italy second in 46.816. Annik Plamondon of Longueuil, Que., was third in 1:14.305 and Jessica Gregg of Edmonton fourth in 1:23.096 as both Canadians fell.

‘’Considering all that happened I’m very satisfied,’’ said Plamondon, 22, who also experienced blade problems after the quarterfinal. ‘’The ice was certainly deteriorating after each round which made it more and more difficult. This is my first big trip with the team and I’m here to gain some experience.’’

Melanie Gagnon of Montreal was eliminated in the semifinal for fifth and Raphaele Lemieux of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., and Nita Avrith of Montreal were ousted in the quarterfinals for 10th and 14th respectively.

After two days of competition, Canada has two gold, two silver and four bronze.