Three medals for Canada at short track speed skating worlds

GANGNEUNG CITY, South Korea – Canada won silver medals in the men’s and women’s relays and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., added a bronze in the women’s 1,000 to conclude the world championships in short track speed skating.

Both relay medals came despite Canada was missing its number-one skater for both races.

In the men’s 5,000-metre relay, South Korea took the gold medal in 6:51.148. Canada with brothers Marc-André Monette and Jean-François Monette, both of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., François Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., and Steve Robillard of Montreal followed in 6:52.318. Britain was third in 6:56.765.

In the women’s 3,000-metre relay, the Koreans were first again in 4:16.261. Canada with Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., Anne Maltais of Quebec City, Amanda Overland of Montreal and Jessica Gregg of Edmonton were second in 4:20.254. China was third in 4:23.022.

‘’ We’re happy how both our relay teams reacted today to the changes,’’ said Yves Hamelin, Speed Skating Canada’s short track program director. ‘’Those are really good results. We were up against very strong competition. Anne jumped in to replace Kalyna and the girls had a real good race And for the men’s team we had to scratch Charles (Hamelin) because he was sick and Steve took his spot.’’

In the women’s 1,000, Meng Wang led China to a 1-2 finish in 1:32.527. Yang Zhou was second in 1:32.595 and Roberge was third in 1:32.636. Vicent ranked seventh and Overland 10th.

‘’The 1,000 went really well for me,’’ said Roberge, a bronze medallist in Saturday’s 500. ‘’I really tried to manage my races as best as possible because I knew I was in for a lot of racing today. In the final, the Chinese stuck together most of the race making it difficult for me to get an opportunity to pass.’’

In the women’s 3,000, Zhou was the winner while Roberge took seventh. Roberge, was in contention for an overall medal but crashed with four laps to go when she clashed blades with a Korean racer. She injured her knee and was unable to enter the relay.

‘’It’s disappointing for me in the 3,000 because I was on my way to winning the race,’’ said Roberge. ‘’That probably would have put me second overall.’’

Wang took the overall crown and Roberge was fourth.

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie took fourth spot in the 1,000 and fifth in the 3,000. He had been battling the flu all week and was too ill to race the relay. Marc-André Monette and François Hamelin were also seventh and ninth respectively in the 1,000.

Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., took the overall title while Charles Hamelin, second in Saturday’s 500, was the top Canadian in sixth.

The short track season ends next weekend with the world team championships in Beijing.