Maltais wins bronze in Moscow

Valérie Maltais wins bronze at the short track World Cup in Moscow

MOSCOW – Winning her second medal of the season, Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., was the lone Canadian to step on the podium today at the Korean Air ISU World Cup in Moscow. Maltais took the 1,500-metre bronze medal in a time of two minutes and 31.351 seconds, finishing behind Korean skaters Ha-Ri Cho, who took gold (2:31.162), and silver medalist Eun-Byul Lee (2:31.223).

“I wanted to try a strategy that I could use at the world championships,” said Maltais. “I wanted to be patient during the race, progress slowly and explode at the end. That’s what I did. I’m quite satisfied.” Extraits sonore de Maltais (MP3)

Maltais reached the 1500-metre A final by winning (2:30.500) her semifinal heat. Teammates Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterrière, Que., and Gabrielle Waddell of Red Deer, Alta., were third (2:25.854) and fourth (2:33.836), respectively in their semifinals, to move onto the B final. Drolet finished in second (2:38.053) for a ninth place ranking and Waddell was sixth (2:41.083) for 13th overall.

Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., was the only other Canadian to reach an A final today, but he was penalized in the 1,000-metre final and had to settle for fourth spot. Jean reached the final by winning (1:27.799) his quart-final race and placing second (1:29.539) in the semifinals.

In his 1,000 metres, Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., finished seventh overall. He was advanced to the semifinals after being interfered with in the quarter-finals. Bastille finished fourth (1:27.894) in the semi-finals, and was then third (1:28.843) in the B final. In his 1,000-metre quarter-final, Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta., was third (1:27.071), sending him to the C final. He won (1:29.567) his last race to claim 10th overall.

In the men’s 1500-metre semifinals, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., and Rémi Beaulieu of Alma, Que., finished in third place of their heats to qualify for the B final. François-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que., was penalized and eliminated from moving on. Hamelin won (2:20.020) the B final and Beaulieu was second (2:20.317) for seventh and eighth place overall, respectively.

In the women’s 1,000-metre quarter-finals, only Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., qualified for the semifinals. Hewitt won (1:32.216) her heat, but was then fourth (1:34.089) in the semifinals to move onto the B final. She was fourth (1:36.372) in the B final to take eighth overall. Also in the 1,000 metres, Marianne St. Gelais of St. Félicien, Que., was third (1:34.162) in her quarter-final heat, and Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., was also third (1:33.342). In the C finals, St. Gelais was first (1:32.312) and Truchon second (1:32.390) for 10th and 11th place overall.

In the women’s relay semifinals, Drolet, Hewitt, Maltais and St. Gelais skated to first place (4:16.317), ahead of the United States, Japan and Germany, to qualify for Sunday’s final. Beaulieu, Hamelin, Jean and Tremblay represented Canada in the men’s relay semifinal. The Canadians finished first (6:53.109) ahead of the American, Japanese and German teams to move onto Sunday’s final.

On Sunday, there will be the 500-metre and second 1,500-metre races, as well as the relay finals. The repechage rounds on Saturday and Sunday start at 9 a.m. (local time). Moscow is nine hours ahead of Eastern Time.