Canada wins two bronze medals in relays at short track speed skating World Cup

For the second straight short track speed skating World Cup event, Canada won bronze medals in the men’s and women’s relays on Sunday to conclude the second stop on the circuit.

In the men’s 5,000-metre relay, South Korea won the gold medal clocking six minutes and 47.235 seconds with China second at 6:47.696. Canada, gold medallists in the event at the last two Olympics, was third in 6:48.068 with Francois-Louis Tremblay of Montreal, Eric Bedard of Ste-Thecle, Que., Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., and Mathieu Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que.

“It was an average race for us but still we posted a very good time,” said Hamelin. “But I nearly fell with four laps to go we got passed for second. So we made some little mistakes and lacked some finish on the exchanges.”

In the women’s 3,000 relay, China was the victor in 4:15.883 and South Korea second in 4:16.777. The Canadians followed closely in third at 4:16.877 with Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., Tania Vicent of Vercheres, Que., Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal and Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C.

“We waged a very good battle with the Koreans,” said Leblanc-Boucher. “We showed a lot of improvement and really bounced back from a couple of mistakes in the race. The time was absolutely fantastic. Canada hadn’t clocked 4:16 in a very long time and it’s the fastest time ever for this relay.”

In Sunday’s individual races, there was one Canadian finalist with Turcotte placing fifth in the men’s 3,000.

In the men’s 1,000, Turcotte and Bedard were eliminated in the semifinals for sixth and eighth overall respectively while Tremblay was ousted in the quarterfinals for ninth.

Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S., won both individual races Sunday to place first overall with Turcotte the top Canadian in fifth.

In the women’s 1,000, Kraus was eliminated in the semis for eighth while Vicent and Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont., didn’t get past the quarters for 10th and 15th.

Canada finished the competition with five medals. On Friday, Turcotte won silver in the 1,500, on Saturday, Bedard was second in the men’s 500 and Roberge third in the women’s 500.

The next stops on the World Cup are November 11-13 in Bormio, Italy and November 18-20 at the Hague, the Netherlands. Those events will serve to determine the eight countries that compete in short track speed skating at the Olympic Games this February in Turin.