Montreal’s Tania Vicent fourth in women’s 500 at short track speed skating World Cup

Tania Vicent of Montreal reached her first career World Cup final in the women’s 500-metres and placed fourth Saturday for Canada’s best result so far at the opening stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Meng Wang of China earned her second gold medal in two days clocking 45.037 with her compatriot Tianyu Fu second in 45.207 and Marta Capurso of Italy third in 45.816. Vicent, Canada’s female short track speed skater of the year last season, followed in 46.458.

"I got a little nervous in the final and didn’t skate as well as I wanted," said Vicent, 28, in her 12th season on the national team. "But the 500 has never been my best distance so I’m proud of my performance overall. I’ve worked hard this off season and this is the start I wanted."

Vicent went through some high and lows last winter. On the ice she enjoyed the best season of her career highlighted by her first Canadian title. At the nationals she won three of the four races. But in February, her mother died after a long battle with cancer.

"It’s hard to talk about my mother because it affected me in so many ways," said Vicent. "It’s made me more determined towards my speed skating."

Vicent now wants to make an international impact this season. "I haven’t been able to translate my national success to the international stage and that’s my goal this year," she said. "I’ve probably lacked some confidence and that’s something I’ve worked hard on improving for this year."

Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., was eliminated in the semifinals for eighth overall and Amélie Goulet-Nadon was eliminated in the quarterfinals for 12th.

In the men’s 500 final, Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., also captured a second gold clocking 43.226. Seung-Jae Lee of South Korea was second in 43.098 and Rusty Smith of the U.S., third in 43.127.

Steve Robillard and Jonathan Guilmette, both of Montreal, were eliminated in the quarterfinals for 12th and 13th respectively, while Jean-Francois Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was eliminated in the second round for 17th.

Canada reached the final in both the men’s and women’s relays with second place finishes in semifinal heats. The men’s foursome was Guilmette, Monette, Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que. The women racers were Vicent, Goulet-Nadon, Kraus and Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont.

Competition ends Sunday with the men’s and women’s 1,000 and 3,000 metre races and the relay finals.