Canada’s Olivier Jean wins gold at World Cup in short track speed skating

Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., left no doubt he’ll be a serious medal threat at the upcoming world championships with a golden performance in the men’s 500-metres on Sunday at the World Cup final in short track speed skating.

Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., also completed a strong weekend with silver in a close men’s 1,000. Canada ended the weekend with five medals.

In the men’s 500, Jean clocked 42.104 seconds for his second World Cup win at the distance this season and his second podium finish this weekend. Roberto Serra of Italy was second in 42.259 and Tyson Heung of Germany was third in 42.402. Marc-Andre Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., was eliminated in the quarterfinals for 16th place.

“They’ll be waiting for Olivier at the world championships,” said Canadian national team coach Martin Gagne. “In a few months he has made his mark. He’s a very durable skater with a lot of power. His size makes him difficult to pass and he’s a very tactical skater. He’s studied his opponents very well.”

In the men’s 1,000, Ho Suk Lee of South Korea won a close battle for the gold over Hamelin clocking 1:28.623. Hamelin followed in 1:28.666 for his fourth World Cup medal at the distance this season. Francois-Louis Tremblay of Montreal edged Jean-Francois Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles in the B final and they placed sixth and seventh overall.

On Saturday, Hamelin and Tremblay were 1-2 in the men’s 500.

In the women’s 500, Roberge won the B final for fifth place while Jessica Gregg of Edmonton and Nita Avrith of Montreal were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

In the women’s 1,000, Anne Maltais of Quebec City was eliminated in the semifinals while Marianne St-Gelais of St-Felicien, Que., and Ivanie Blondin of Ottawa were ousted in the quarterfinals.

Canada was fourth in the women’s 3,000 relay with Roberge, Maltais, Blondin and Avrith and disqualified in the men’s 5,000-metre relay final with Marc-Andre Monette, Tremblay, Jean and Hamelin.