Canadians capture silver & two bronze at short track World Cup

Canada’s men’s relay team lost a heated battle with China and settled for the silver medal Sunday in the men’s 5,000-metre relay to conclude the third stop on the World Cup short track speed skating circuit.

The Canadian women were also involved in a tight race in their 3,000 relay and won the bronze. Jean-François Monette of Pointes-aux-Trembles, Que., earned his second medal of the competition placing third in the men’s 1,000.

In the men’s relay, China took the gold medal clocking seven minutes and 01.353 seconds. The Canadians with François-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal, Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., and Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Que., were a close second in 7:01.310. The Canadians lead a large portion of the race but fumbled an exchange with three laps to go. South Korea and Italy, the other two countries in the final, were both disqualified.

It was Canada’s first loss this season in the men’s relay. The Canadians are the two-time defending Olympic champions in the event.

"The men’s relay was a bit indicative of our day overall," said Canadian national team coach Guy Thibault of Montreal. "We were very close to winning but couldn’t shut the door on the opposition. It’s a bit frustrating but when you look at the big picture we did well."

In the women’s race, China won again in 4:20.273. South Korea passed Canada with 30 metres to go for the silver in 4:20.879. Canadians clocked 4:20.936 for the bronze. Skating for Canada were Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., Amélie Goulet-Nadon of Laval, Que., Annie Perreault of Rock Forest, Que., and Tania Vicent of Montreal.

Jiajun Li of China prevailed in the men’s 1,000 clocking 1:34.477. Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., was second in 1:34.611 and Monette edged out Turcotte for the bronze in 1:34.670. Turcotte was fourth in 1:34.916.

In the women’s 1,000, Yang Yang (A) of China won the race. Kraus was eliminated in the semifinal and was ranked fifth.

Ohno took his second gold this weekend in the men’s 3,000 while Turcotte and Monette placed fifth and sixth respectively. Goulet-Nadon was sixth in the women’s 3,000.

Canada ended the meet with six medals.

The fourth stop on the circuit is next weekend in Bormio, Italy. Meanwhile the long track sprinters including Olympic champion Catriona Le May Doan and Jeremy Wotherspoon start their World Cup season next Saturday in Nagano, Japan.