Two silver for Canada to conclude short track World Cup opener

Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal and Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., each won silver medals respectively Sunday to conclude the first stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Canada earned five medals this weekend, one gold, three silver and a bronze and also broke two world records.

South Korea’s Seung-Jae Lee was the weekend’s big individual star in men’s competition as he took three of the four individual races including Sunday’s 1,000 and 3,000 metres. In the 1,000, Lee clocked 1:26.393 for the victory with Guilmette second in 1:26.458 and Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea third in 1:37.423. Monette and Jeff Scholten of Fredericton were eliminated in the semi finals for fifth and seventh respectively.

“It was a very strong field for the final and everyone wanted to get out front early,” said Guilmette, who won the 500-metre race on Saturday. “I tried to get by Lee on the last lap but he ran a great race. But still to do this well this early in the season is very satisfying. We know the Koreans are always very strong at the start and we tend to improve as the year progresses.”

In the men’s 3,000, Lee was first in 4:48.646 followed by Monette in second at 4:50.358 and Ahn third in 4:56.894.

The result concluded a great weekend for Monette. He broke the world record in the 500-metres on Saturday in the semifinal then won silver in the final. He also helped Canada to a world mark in the men’s relay in the quarterfinal on Friday. All the men’s world records are currently held by Canadians and were all set in Calgary.

On the women’s side world champion Eun Kyung Choi of South Korea earned wins in both the 1,000 and 3,000. In the 1,000, Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Tania Vicent of Montreal were eliminated in the semifinals for sixth and seventh respectively. Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., Canada’s other medallist this weekend with bronze in Saturday’s 500, was ousted in the quarterfinal for 16th place.

In the 3,000, Goulet-Nadon was disqualified for sixth place.

In the competition’s overall standings, Lee was first on the men’s side with Guilmette second, Monette fourth and Scholten seventh. On the women’s side, Chun-Sa Byun of South Korea with a gold and two silver was first while Goulet-Nadon was sixth, Overland eighth and Vicent ninth.

Canada was fourth in both the men’s and women’s relay finals on Sunday as well. China won the men’s race and South Korea took the women’s relay.

The second stop on the circuit is next weekend at Marquette, Michigan.