Winter Universiade: Short Track Speed Skating Canada claims two silver medals, pair of Universiade records

TRENTINO, Italy – Speed skaters Caroline Truchon of Saguenay, Que., and Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., claimed silver medals in the 500-metre events on Thursday as Canada also set a pair of Universiade records on the second day of short track competition at the 26th winter world university games.
 
It was the third short track medal in 24 hours for Canada in Trentino, following a third-place finish by Yoan Gauthier of Rivière-du-Loup, Qué., in Wednesday’s men’s 1500m.
 
Truchon was solid from start to finish on her way to the podium, taking second place in her heat (46.516) before winning her quarter-final (44.611) and semifinal (45.092). In the championship race, the Collège de Rosemont student crossed the line in 44.834 seconds, just behind China’s Xue Wang (44.713) and Agne Sereikaite of Lithuania (45.044).
 
Her teammates Vicky Labourdette of Greenfield Park, Que., and Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont., finished 12th and 17th overall, respectively. Labourdette reached the quarter-finals, while Morrison couldn’t make it past the heats.
 
“I’m really happy. Things didn’t start too well because I broke my blades in my first race, but I was still able to advance to the next round,” said Truchon. “After that, everything went smoothly. I felt really good and I kind of cruised to the final.
 
“In the final, I had a great start to take second place. I thought about passing the leader but she skated a very good defensive race so I thought it would be smarter to protect my position instead of risking to lose it all.”
 
On the men’s side, all three Canadians easily advanced through the preliminaries, heats and quart-finals, winning all nine of their races, but Duffy was the only Canuck to survive the semis.
 
Vincent Cournoyer, a senior national team member from Boucherville, Que., was third in the first semifinal and ended up in seventh place overall, while Sébastien Landry of Montreal, who was competing with Duffy in the second semi, placed fifth in the race and ninth in the final standings.
 
Duffy, a Concordia University student, not only won his first four sprints of the day en route to the final, he clocked 41.433 in the heats to register a new FISU Games record. His mark would only stand for an hour however as Lee Hyo Been, the eventual gold-medal winner from South Korea, posted a time of 41.383 in the semis.
 
In the final, Hyo Been crossed the line in 41.642, followed by Duffy (41.917) and Shi Jingnan of China (42.025).
 
“I was a bit nervous before the final. There were a lot of big guys on the line,” Duffy said. “I kind of blacked out during the race so I can’t really tell you what happened but I came away with second place, so it’s fantastic.”
 
The relay semifinals followed the 500m individual races and the two Canadians teams obtained opposite results, with the men qualifying for the A final in Universiade record time and the women settling for third place in their group and a spot in the B final.
 
The men’s foursome of Duffy, Gauthier, Landry and 2010 Olympic gold medallist Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup posted an eye-popping 6:51.506 on 5000m and will battle for gold on Friday.  

“The relay was good, super smooth,” said Duffy. “Tomorrow’s the final and we’re very excited about it.”
 
Meanwhile, the women’s squad of Truchon, Labourdette, Morrison and Namasthée Harris-Gauthier of Montreal finished with a solid time of 4:13.605 on 3000m but couldn’t quite catch Hungary, which set a new FISU Games standard of 4:13.353, and China (4:13.446).
 
“We’re disappointed to miss the final but on the other hand, we still skated pretty well,” said Truchon. We were beaten by two very strong teams. The Hungarian team is the same one that will go to the Olympics this winter.”
 
The three-day short track competition concludes Friday with the individual 1000m events and the relay finals.

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 19

WOMEN’S 500m

Heat 1
3. Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., 45.722, does not advance, finishes 17th overall.
 
Heat 3
2. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 46.518, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Heat 4
2. Vicky Labourdette, Greenfield Park, Que., 45.625, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Quarter-final 2
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 44.611, advances to semifinals.
 
Quarter-final 3
3. Vicky Labourdette, Greenfield Park, Que., 45.999, does not advance, finishes 12th overall.
 
Semifinal 1
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 45.092, advances to A final.
 
A Final
1. Xue Wang, China, 44.713; 2. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 44.834; 3. Agne Sereikaite, Lithuania, 45.044.
 
MEN’S 500m

Preliminary 2
1. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 41.880, advances to heats.
 
Preliminary 6
1. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 41.897, advances to heats.
 
Preliminary 9
1. Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que., 41.842, advances to heats.
 
Heat 2
1. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 41.433 (Universiade Record), advances to quarter-finals.
 
Heat 3
1. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 41.546, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Heat 6
1. Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que., 41.583, advances to quarter-finals.
 
Quarter-final 1
1. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 42.137, advances to semifinals.
 
Quarter-final 2
1. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 41.567, advances to semifinals.
 
Quarter-final 3
1. Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que., 41.655, advances to semifinals.
 
Semifinal 1
4. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 41.550, advances to B final.
 
Semifinal 2
1. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 41.771, advances to A final; 5. Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que., 42.158, does not advance, finishes 9th overall.
 
B Final
3. Vincent Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que., 55.756, finishes 7th overall.
 
A Final
1. Lee Hyo Been, South Korea, 41.642; 2. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 41.917; Shi Jingnan, China, 42.025.
 
WOMEN’S 3000m RELAY

Semifinal 2
3. Canada (Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que.; Vicky Labourdette, Greenfield Park, Que.; Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que.), 4:13.605, advances to B final Friday at noon p.m. EST (6 p.m. Trentino).         

MEN’S 5000m RELAY

Semifinal 1
1. Canada (Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont.; Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que.), 6:51.506 (Universiade Record), advances to A final Friday at 12:30 p.m. EST (6:30 p.m. Trentino).   

Dec 20
14:00 1000m (women & men)
18:00 3000m relay B final (women)
18:30 5000m relay A final (men)