Vicent & Robillard earn victories in 1,500 metres at 2004 Canada Post Open Championships

Steve Robillard and Tania Vicent, both of Montreal, earned victories in their respective 1,500 metre races Friday at the 2004 Canada Post Open Championships short track speed skating competition.

Vicent, in her 11th season on the national team, clocked 2:30.037 with Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford second in 2:30.141and Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., third in 2:30.177.

The competition is also the second part of the national team trials and counts for 66 percent of the total score towards determining the Canadian team for the world championships in March. The top-five overall make the world team.

Vicent, 27, placed first after the first trials this past November in Chicoutimi, Que., and added to her overall lead with Friday’s win.

“I must have led for about nine of the 13 laps tonight so at the end I was totally spent,” said Vicent, a member of Canada’s bronze medal winning relay team at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics. “I was actually praying at the end. But I controlled the race by being in front and that was my goal.”

In the men’s 1,500, Robillard passed Olympic medallists Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal and Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., with two laps to go and darted to the gold in 2:16.476. Guilmette was second in 2:16.798 and Turcotte third in 2:17.006.

“I’m a little bit surprised to win but I came here well prepared” said Robillard, 19, the 2002 Canadian Open champion. “I haven’t competed that much this year so I’ve had time to practice and study aspects of my skating. This competition is one my biggest events this season.”

Competition continues Saturday.

Friday’s results at the 2004 Canada Post Open Championships short track speed skating competition in Abbotsford, B.C. (all distances in metres):


MEN

1,500


1. Steve Robillard, Montreal, 2:16.476

2. Jonathan Guilmette, Montreal, 2:16.798

3. Mathieu Turcotte, Sherbrooke, Que., 2:17.006

4. Daryl Rasmussen, Prince George, B.C., 2:17.912

5. Éric Bédard, Ste-Thècle, Que., 2:18.484

6. François-Louis Tremblay, Boucherville, Que.,
2 :18.944

7. Jean-François Monette, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., 2 :37.904


WOMEN


1,500


1. Tania Vicent, Montreal, 2:30.037

2. Alanna Kraus, Abbotsford, B.C., 2:30.141

3. Amanda Overland, Kitchener, Ont., 2:30.177

4. Chantale Sévigny, Sherbrooke, Que., 2:30.281

5. Amélie Goulet-Nadon, Laval, Que., 2 :30.309

6. Kalyna Roberge, Ste-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Que., 2 :30.363

7. Mélanie Gagnon, Montreal, 2 :30.483