Mathieu Turcotte & Kalyna Roberge post second wins at Bell Short Track Speed Skating Olympic Trials

Turcotte of Sherbrooke, Que., and Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., earned their second wins at the Bell Short Track Speed Skating Olympic Trials on Monday night with victories in the men’s and women’s 1,500 metres.

In the men’s 1,500, Turcotte was the winner in 2:13.795 with Francois-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville, Que., second in 2:13.975 and Jonathan Guilmette of Montreal third in 2:13.986.

“The guys got a bit tired at the end and that was too my advantage,” said Turcotte, a double medallist at the 2002 Olympics who won the 500 on Friday. “I didn’t really set a plan with seven skaters in the final. Everyone in that final had the ability to win the race I just tried to manage my passes at the right time.”

In the women’s 1,500, Roberge scampered past Amanda Overland of Kitchener, Ont, on the final lap to win in 2:22.899. Overland was second in 2:23.029 and Anouk Leblanc-Boucher of Montreal third in 2:23.117.

“It was a strategic race and the tempo was high,” said Roberge, 18, who won the 500 race on Friday. “I tried to stay up front as much as possible because those at the back were working a lot more. I’m surprised to have two wins at this point.”

The trials run until Sunday September 11 and determine the five men and five women named to the short track Olympic team. The 16 men and 16 women contest each Olympic distance (500, 1,000 and 1,500) three times at the trials. The top skater overall at each distance gets an automatic selection to the team while the other selections are based on the overall standings from the entire meet.

After four races (two 1,500’s and one 500 and one 1,000), Turcotte leads the men’s overall standings with 3,178 points as well the 1,500 standings. Tremblay is second overall at 2,964, Guilmette third at 2,652, Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., fourth at 2,200, Eric Bedard of Ste-Thecle, Que., fifth at 1,722 and Steve Robillard of Montreal sixth at 1,424. Each win is worth 1,000 points, second place 816 and so on.

Roberge leads the women’s overall standings with 3,178, Leblanc-Boucher, the current 1,500 metre leader, is second at 2,652, Tania Vicent of Montreal third at 2,555, Overland fourth at 2,468, Alanna Kraus of Abbotsford, B.C., fifth at 2,164 and Jessica Gregg of Edmonton sixth at 1,117.

Competition continues Tuesday night with the second 500 metre races for men and women.