Winter Universiade: Gauthier claims bronze in men’s 1500m

TRENTINO, Italy – Speed skater Yoan Gauthier of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., claimed Canada’s first medal at the 26th Winter Universiade thanks to a third-place finish in the men’s 1500-metre on the opening day of the short track competition, Wednesday.
 
In the final, Gauthier, a veteran of two junior world championships (2012, 2013), crossed the finish line in 2:17.742, just behind South Koreans Noh Jin-Kyu (2:16.810) and Um Cheon-Ho (2:16.852).
 
Noh is the world record-holder in the event (2:09.041, Shanghai, 2011) and the 2011 overall world champion, while Um set a new Universiade mark of 2:16.052 earlier on Wednesday, in the quarter-finals.
 
Gauthier was consistent throughout the day on his way to the podium, winning his qualifying heat (2:27.185) before placing second in both his quarter-final (2:16.164) and semifinal (2:16.767).

“I was a little stressed in the early goings. It was as if I had forgotten how to skate against other countries. But as the competition progressed I felt more and more comfortable,” said the Collège de Maisonneuve student. “In the final, I was pleasantly surprised by my performance considering I was the only Canadian against, among others, three South Koreans.
 
“I didn’t realize right away I had just won Canada’s first medal of the Games. It makes it even more special.”

Vincent Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., and Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, both members of the senior national team, also made it to the semifinals in the men’s 1500 but failed to advance to the medal race.
 
Competing with Gauthier in the second semi, Cournoyer was fourth across the line and ended up in the B final, where he placed second to finish ninth overall.
 
Bastille, a 2010 Olympic gold medallist in the relay, was disqualified in the first semi and took 12th place in the final standings.
 
In the women’s 1500, all three Canadians also made it to the semifinals but none of them qualified for the medal round.
 
Montreal’s Namasthée Harris-Gauthier and Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont., both earned spots in the B final and finished ninth and 11th overall, respectively.
 
Caroline Truchon of Saguenay, Que., was stopped in the semis and ended up in 13th position.
 
Following the individual competition, Canada’s men’s relay won its heat over Hungary (6:56.783) and France (7:02.642) to qualify for Thursday’s semifinals. Bastille and Cournoyer teamed up with Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., and Sébastien Landry of Montreal to clock 6:56.724 on 5000 metres.
 
There were no qualifications for the women’s 3000 relay, all entries advancing straight to the semis.
 
Thursday’s short track schedule also includes the individual 500m events.
 
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index
Trentino 2013 website: http://www.universiadetrentino.org/en  
                                                                                                                                    
TEAM CANADA RESULTS & SCHEDULE (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)

Official FISU results: FISU <http://www.universiadetrentino.org/content/program>  

Dec 18

WOMEN’S 1500m

Heat 1
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 2:29.353, advances to semifinals.
 
Heat 2
2. Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., 2:34.777, advances to semifinals.
 
Heat 5
2. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 2:28.149, advances to semifinals.
 
Semifinal 1
4. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 2:29.630, advances to B final.
 
Semifinal 2
4. Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., 2:27.461, advances to B final; 5. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 2:27.722, does not advance, finishes 13th overall.
 
B Final
3. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 2:26.902, finishes 9th overall; 5. Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., 2:27.217, finishes 11th overall.
 
MEN’S 1500m

Heat 4
2. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 2:26.995, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Heat 5
1. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 2:20.823, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Heat 7
2. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 2:27.185, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Quarter-Final 1
2. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 2:16.164, advances to semifinals.
 
Quarter-Final 3
1. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 2:19.672, advances to semifinals.
 
Quarter-Final 4
2. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 2:24.554, advances to semifinals.
 
Semifinal 1
Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., PEN, does not advance, finishes 12th overall.
 
Semifinal 2
2. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 2:16.767, advances to A final; 4. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 2:16.970, advances to B final.
 
B Final
2. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 2:29.007, finishes 9th overall.
 
A Final
1. Noh Jin-Kyu, South Korea, 2:16.810; 2. Um Cheon-Ho, South Korea, 2:16.852; 3. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 2:17.742.
 
MEN’S 5000m RELAY

Heat 2
1. Canada (Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que.; Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont.; Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que.), 6:56.724, advances to semifinals Thursday at 12:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. Trentino).             

Dec 19
8am 500m (women & men)
12:30 3000m relay semifinals (women)
12:30 5000m relay semifinals (men)
 
Dec 20
8am 1000m (women & men)
12:30 5000m relay final (men)