Rare day without medal for Canada in short track speed skating

For the only the second time this season, Canada went a day without a medal in short track speed skating World Cup competition but Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal came close finishing fourth in Friday’s men’s 1,500 metres at the fourth stop on the circuit.

World champion Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea notched his third consecutive win in the event this season clocking two minutes and 11.586 seconds. His compatriot Suk-Woo Song was second in 2:11.712 and Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., third in 2:11.809.

Guilmette took fourth spot in 2:11.898 as he just missed earning a fifth World Cup medal this season. He was battling China’s Jiajun Li for third spot in the race on the last turn when the two touched and Ohno snuck by both to get the bronze. Li was fifth.

“Jonathan is skating with a lot of confidence this season,” said Canadian national team coach Guy Thibault of Le Gardeur, Que. “He knows how to manage his races very well. Tonight he didn’t have an easy task with three Koreans and two Chinese in the final.”

Jeff Scholten of Montreal was eliminated in the semifinal and earned ninth place overall.

The Koreans swept the medals in the women’s 1,500 with Chun-Sa Byun first in 2:26.641, Eun-Kyung Choi second in 2:26.690 and Gi-Hyun Ko third in 2:26.991.

Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., was eliminated in the semifinal and earned eighth spot while Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., took 16th spot.

“The 1,500 has been Amélie’s hard-luck race this season,’’ said Thibault. ‘’But she can’t afford to race from behind in that event.”

The only other day Canada did not win a medal this season was the first of the season in October at Calgary.

In the men’s 5,000 relay Canada won its heat clocking 7:00.57, the best time of the day. The Canadian skaters were Guilmette, Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., Éric Bédard of Ste Thècle, Que., and Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.

Competition continues Saturday with the men’s and women’s 500 and the relay semifinals.