Canada’s Mathieu Turcotte fourth at short track speed skating World Cup

Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., was thwarted in his quest for a medal on Friday and settled for fourth in the men’s 1,500-metre final to open the second stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

World champion Hyun-Soo Ahn of South Korea won the gold medal clocking 2:20.330 with Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., second in 2:20.627 and Jiajun Li of China third in 2:20.864 Turcotte, a double Olympic medallist in 2002, was fourth in 2:21.713

Turcotte was chasing Ahn and Ohno for the gold when he was interfered with by South Korean Kyung-Taek Song with three laps to go. Song was disqualified but the disturbance allowed Li to capitalize on an opening to gain third spot ahead of Turcotte.

"I’m happy with about 75 percent of my race in the final," said Turcotte. "It was a very strategic race and I should have made a move to get up front earlier on. But it was my first individual race this season so overall it’s a good start. The ice is fast here and that should benefit me in the other races this weekend."

Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., were eliminated in the semifinals and placed 11th and 18th respectively.

In the women’s 1,500, Yun-Mi Kang led South Korea to a 1-2 finish clocking 2:20.455 with Sun-Yu Jin second in 2:20.945 and Meng Wang of China, last week’s winner, third in 2:21.127.

Amanda Overland of Cambridge, Ont., and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal were eliminated in the semis for seventh and 16th spot respectively.

In the men’s 5,000-metre relay Canada advanced to the semifinals winning its heat. The Canadians skaters were Guilmette, Hamelin, Steve Robillard of Montreal and Jean-Francois Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.

In the women’s 3,000 relay, the Canadian women crossed the finish line first but were later disqualified for interference with the Italians. The Canadian skaters were Overland, Leblanc-Boucher, Tania Vicent of Montreal and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C.

Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., a triple World Cup champion two seasons ago, won’t race this weekend due to a groin injury.

Competition continues through to Sunday. On Saturday it’s the men’s and women’s 500 and the relay semifinals.