Three gold medals for Canada at short track speed skating World Cup

Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., led Canada to a triple gold medal performance on Sunday to conclude the fourth stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In the men’s 3,000-metres, Turcotte continued to shine with the gold medal in 5:11.640 for his third victory this season. He also won the 500 on Saturday and silver in the 1,500 Friday to finish first in this weekend’s overall standings. He edged rival Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., second in 5:11.871. Hamelin placed seventh.

"As I get older my longer distance races are getting a lot better," said Turcotte, 27, in his seventh season on the national team. "Today I felt in control the whole race. It’s important to improve in the 3,000 in order to have a chance to win overall crowns at the World Cups and world championships."

Earlier in the men’s 1,000, Hamelin took the gold in 1:28.606 for his first career World Cup win. Ohno was second again in 1:28.660 while Turcotte was also in the final and placed fourth.

"It’s an indescribable feeling to stand at the top of the podium," said Hamelin, 20. ‘"Over the last three weeks (two World Cups and team trials) I’ve gained a huge amount experience and I’ve also shown I can race with the best in the world."

In the 5,000 relay, Turcotte, Francois-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., and Jonathan Guilmette and Steve Robillard of Montreal were the winners in 6:51.158 more than two seconds ahead of second place China. The Canadian men have won relay medals at all four World Cup events this year and gold at the last two.

"Unless we had a fall there was no way we were going to lose that relay," said Turcotte.

In the women’s 3,000 relay, China won a heated three-way battle for gold clocking 4:18.222. Russia was second in 4:18.566 and Canada with Tania Vicent and Kalyna Roberge, both of Montreal, Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., and Amanda Overland of Cambridge, Ont., were third in 4:18.680.

"It was a super fast race," said Overland, who also reached the 1,000 semifinal for sixth place. "We’re pretty psyched that we can step-up and post these kinds of times right now. This is what we have to do consistently in the lead-up to the Olympic Games."