Tremblay just short of a medal at short track World Cup

François-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., finished fourth in the men’s 1,500-metre final Friday in opening day races at the second stop this season on the World Cup short track speed skating circuit.

Fabio Carta of Italy passed two Koreans on the final turn and won the race in 2:32.179 . He upset Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea second in 2:32.444. Last weekend in Korea, Ahn won all four individual races. Seung-Jae Lee of South Korea was third in 2:32.779 just ahead of Tremblay who clocked 2:32.879.

Jean-François Monette of Montreal also reached the final and placed sixth in 2:34.217.

"Both our guys decided to stay back a bit during the final to see how it would develop," said Canadian national team coach Guy Thibault of Montreal. "They probably waited a bit too long and weren’t able to capitalize when Carta made his move and disrupted everything. But I’m pleased with the start of the men’s season. We’re usually qualifying one or two guys for each final."

Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Qué., was disqualified in the opening round.

In the women’s 1,500, Eun-Kyung Choi of South Korea earned her third victory this season clocking 2:40.570. Her compatriot Ha-Ri Cho was second in 2:40.652 and Men Wang of China was third in 2:41.008.

The Canadian women are still searching for a first individual medal this season. 1998 Olympic champion Annie Perreault of Rock Forest, Que., Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., and Chantale Sévigny of Sherbrooke, Que., were all eliminated in the semifinals and placed eighth, ninth and 11th respectively.

In the men’s 5,000 relay, Canada won its heat to advance to Saturday’s semifinal. On the ice for Canada was Tremblay, Bédard, Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke and Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal.

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

Note: Three-time Olympic medallist Nathalie Lambert made a surprise appearance at a Canadian team practice in Beijing this week. Lambert was in China to bring home to Montreal her new adopted daughter Ann-Li.

Friday’s results at a World Cup short track speed skating competition in Beijing:

MEN

1,500: 1. Fabio Carta, Italy, 2:32.179; 2. Hyun-Soo Ahn, South Korea, 2:32.444; 3. Seung-Jae Lee, South Korea, 2:32.779; 4. Francois-Louis Tremblay, Boucherville, Que., 2:32.879; 5. Ye Li, China, 2:33.795; 6. Jean-Francois Monette, Montreal, 2:34.217.

Also: Eric Bédard, Ste-Thècle, Que., disqualified.

WOMEN

1,500: 1. Eun-Kyung Choi, South Korea, 2:40.570; 2. Ha-Ri Cho, South Korea, 2:40.652; 3. Men Wang, China, 2:41.008.

Canadians: 8. Annie Perreault, Rock Forest, Que.; 9. Amélie Goulet-Nadon, Laval, Que.; 11. Chantale Sévigny, Sherbrooke, Que.