Canada ends short track speed skating worlds with six medals

It was a silver Sunday for Canada’s Charles Hamelin at the world championships in short track speed skating.

The Ste-Julie, Que., resident took second spot in the men’s 1,000 metres, finished second overall and helped Canada to silver in the men’s 5,000-metre relay. Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., also capped a successful weekend finising third overall and helping the Canadian women to bronze in the relay.

In the men’s 1,000, Hyun-soo Ahn of South Korea won the gold medal clocking 1:27:177 to edge Hamelin second in 1:27.217 while Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., was third in 1:27.465 and François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal fourth in 1:27.538. Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., was eliminated in the quarter finals for 15th place.

Hamelin led most of the race but lost an edge in the dying moments.

‘’It was one of my best races this year,’’ said Hamelin, the 500-metre winner on Saturday. ‘’It’s too bad I didn’t get the win but I can’t be disappointed with that performance.’’

In the 3,000 Kyung-taek Song of South Korea was the winner with Ahn second, Ohno third, Hamelin fourth and Tremblay fifth.

Ahn earned his fourth overall world title in five years with 81 points, Hamelin was second at 63 and Ohno third at 60. Tremblay was fifth and Jean 10th. ‘’I came here with the goal to get an overall medal,’’ said Hamelin. ‘’I felt I had the ability to put down some consistent races. To be second overall at the worlds is a great way to head into next season.’’

In the men’s 5,000 relay, South Korea won the gold medal in 6:55.399, the Canadians followed in 6:56.130 with Hamelin, Tremblay, Jean and Jean-François Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que. The U.S. finished third in 6:58.702.

‘’We did a good job keeping focused on our own race,’’ said Hamelin. ‘’It was a performance we could be proud of. With three laps to go, the Koreans opened a gap on us and I just couldn’t reel the guy in. He was skating as fast as me.’’

In the women’s 3,000 relay, South Korea collected another gold in 4:14.50 with China second in 4:17.268 and the Canadians third in 4:18.748 with Roberge, Amanda Overland of Montreal, Anne Maltais of Quebec City and Annik Plamondon of Longueuil, Que.

In the final women’s overall standings, South Koreans Sun-yu Jin and Eun-ju Jung tied at the top with 89 points after finishing 1-2 in Sunday’s 1,000 and 3,000. Jin was awarded first overall following the tie breaking procedure. Roberge was third overall at 42 with Overland ninth and Maltais 13th.

Roberge was fourth in the 3,000 and eighth in the 1,000 with Overland 10th and Maltais 18th.

In the 1,000 Roberge suffered a badly bruised elbow on a passing attempt in the quarterfinal and for a few moments she thought her worlds were over.

‘’I thought I had broken my arm,’’ she said. ‘’My arm and shoulder were totally numb I couldn’t lift anything. For the relay it was still very uncomfortable but I pushed as hard as I could. That was a great result for us and to get third overall is very sastisfying for me as well.’’

‘’We were very pleased with the level our team competed at this weekend,’’ said Yves Hamelin, the short track program director for Speed Skating Canada. ‘’We were competitive in every race and fought hard in the finals. To do this well in a post Olympic season is a very promising sign for the team.’’