Canada snares gold & silver in men’s 500 at short track speed skating World Cup

Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., and Francois-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., won gold and silver respectively on Saturday in the men’s 500-metres at the fifth stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

Turcotte notched his fourth individual World Cup win this season and third in a row in the 500 clocking 42.321 seconds, Tremblay was second in 42.402 while Seung-Jae Lee of South Korea took third spot at 42.655.

With one World Cup event remaining, Turcotte is tied atop the 500-metre World Cup standings with American Apolo Anton Ohno at 197 points. In Saturday’s race, Tremblay appeared headed to victory but he wobbled slightly on the final lap which allowed Turcotte to scoot by for the lead.

"Francois-Louis and I had a strategy to try and get a 1-2 finish," said Turcotte. "He probably did most of the work to make that happen but I gained a lot of speed on the outside on the final lap. We controlled the race very well and we’re delighted with how it finished."

Tremblay, a seven-year national team veteran, earned his first individual World Cup medal in two years.

"I’ve raced well in the 500 most of this season but I’ve been a bit unlucky," said Tremblay, a member of Canada‘s Olympic relay team that also included Turcotte. "I didn’t want to miss my chance today. It’s a nice relief to get a medal because I’ve skated well this year."

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., third in the 1,500 on Friday, was eliminated in the semifinals for seventh spot and is third in the 500 World Cup standings at 179 points.

In the women’s 500, Tianyu Fu led China to a 1-2 finish clocking 46.113 with Meng Wang second at 46.215. Evegenia Radanova of Bulgaria was third at 46.299.

Amanda Overland of Cambridge, Ont., Chantal Sévigny of Sherbrooke, Que., and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., were all eliminated in the quarterfinals for ninth, 12th and 14th place respectively.

Canada finished second in both its men’s and women’s semifinal relay heats to advance to the finals. The women’s relay was comprised of Kraus, Overland, Sévigny and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal. The men’s relay team members were Turcotte, Tremblay, Steve Robillard of Montreal and Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Que.

Competition ends Sunday.