Mathieu Turcotte wins bronze medal at short track speed skating World Cup final

Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., won the bronze medal in a controversial men’s 1,500-metre race Thursday at the World Cup final in short track speed skating.

Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., won the gold medal clocking 2:17.660 with Suk-Woo Song of South Korea second in 2:17.798 while Turcotte, the Olympic bronze medallist in the 1,000, was third in 2:18.035.

It appears that officials had trouble counting the laps. In both the men’s and women’s 1,500 finals, the bell to signal the final lap was rung one lap too early.

“I had a feeling they made a mistake and didn’t take any chances and did an extra lap after the bell,” said Turcotte, with four World Cup medals this season.

National team rookie Steve Robillard of Montreal reached his first career individual World Cup final placing sixth. But he stopped a lap too early thinking the race was over.

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., was eliminated in the semifinal and placed 18th overall.

In the women’s 1,500, Eun-Kyung Choi of South Korea earned her fourth victory in the event this season clocking 2:26.009. Her compatriot Min-Jee Kim was second in 2:26.128 and Meng Wang of China third in 2:26.210.

Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal were both eliminated in the semifinals and placed 10th and 14th respectively while Raphaele Lemieux of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., was ousted in the quarter finals for 20th spot.

Canada qualified for both the men’s and women’s relay semfinals. In the men’s 5,000 relay, Canada won its heat with Hamelin, Robillard, Turcotte and Darryl Rasmussen of Prince George, B.C. The women were second in their heat with Lemieux, Overland, Leblanc-Boucher and Chantale Sévigny of Sherbrooke.

Competition continues Friday.