Charles Hamelin & Kalyna Roberge on the podium at short track speed skating worlds

GANGNEUNG CITY, South Korea – Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., won silver and bronze medals respectively in Saturday’s 500-metre races at the world championships in short track speed skating.

In the men’s 500, Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., took the gold in 42.568 with Hamelin second in 42.625 and Kyung-Taek Song of South Korea third in 42.632. Canada had won the gold in the event at the past three worlds.

‘’I had a great start and was right behind Apolo but I missed my opportunity to pass him early in the race during the slower laps,’’ said Hamelin. ‘’He then increased his speed and I focused on keeping pace with him while protecting my second place position.’’

Hamelin has been battling the flu bug this week and got off to rocky start on Friday when he was disqualified in the first round in the 1,500.

‘’I’m happy with my performance considering I wasn’t in top shape,’’ said Hamelin. ‘’All my races were strong, I had good starts and led most of my races. After yesterday, I was disappointed and I was determined that I would have a good day today.’’

François Hamelin of Ste-Julie was eliminated in the semifinals for seventh and Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was ousted in the quarterfinals for ninth.

‘’I had a great start in my semi but with a lap to go I wasn’t aggressive enough and opened the door too much and got passed,’’ said François Hamelin, competing at his first worlds. ‘’I’m learning a lot and all this is new for me. It’s certainly going to help me in the future.’’

It was a 1-2 finish for China in the women’s 500 with Meng Wang taking the gold in 43.888, Qiuhong Liu second in 43.973 and Roberge third in 44.018. It’s the third worlds in a row Roberge has reached the podium at the distance.

‘’Kalyna was strong in every round today,’’ said Yves Hamelin, Speed Skating Canada’s short track program director. ‘’In the final she was alone against three Chinese skaters and that was big challenge. Kalyna had a great strategy to put herself on the podium and she was really happy with her performance.’’

Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., was eliminated in the quarterfinals for 12th and Amanda Overland of Montreal was ousted in the second round for 19th.

In the men’s 5,000-metre relay semifinal, Canada won its heat with the Hamelin brothers, Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles and Steve Robillard of Montreal.

Competition ends Sunday.