Canada wins silver & bronze at world team championships in short track speed skating

South Korea won the all the 1,000 metre races on Sunday en route to sweeping the men’s and women’s titles at the world team championships in short track speed skating while the Canadian men were second and the women third.

In men’s competition, South Korea totalled 39 points in Sunday’s final round ahead of Canada, the defending champions, in second at 36 and China in third at 27.

In the team event, there are heats in the 500, and 1,000, with one entry per country, one 3,000 metre with two entries per country and a relay. The winner in each heat earns five points for his or her country, second place three points and third place one. Relay points are doubled.

Canada won the 5,000-metre relay finale to assure itself second spot clocking six minutes and 50.371 seconds with double Olympic medallist François-Louis Tremblay of Montreal, Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., and Éric Bédard of Ste-Thècle, Que.

Hamelin earned Canada’s two other race victories on the day. He neared the world record in the 500-metres clocking 41.271 seconds and took the 3,000 metre as well. Turcotte was second in his 500 and 1,000 metre heats while Bedard and Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal also posted second place finishes in their respective 1,000’s.

‘’We made some errors here and there and in the end that cost us,’’ said Guilmette. ‘’This event is very different. You have one chance at each distance so you have to be ready right away. The Koreans were nearly perfect, they pretty much dominated. If they hadn’t fallen in the relay their lead would have been wider. Still we’re happy with our relay and Charles’ win in the 3,000 in particular, which is traditionally the Koreans strongest event.

In women’s competition, South Korea successfully defended its team title with 40 points. China won the relay final and earned the most points in the 500, but it wasn’t enough to reel in the Koreans and placed second at 38. The Canadians were third for the second straight year with 26 points.

Canada posted two wins in the 500 heats with Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., and Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que. Double Olympic medallist Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal and Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., were second in their respective 1,000’s. Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., was third in a 500 heat.

‘’We had some good races but we’re pretty disappointed with our result,’’ said Leblanc-Boucher. ‘’We were really motivated for these championships at home. We had some really good practices heading into the competition.’’

The individual world championships run next Friday to Sunday in Minneapolis.