Overland, Roberge, Monette win both their heats in qualifying at short track speed skating World Cup

TURIN, Italy – Amanda Overland of Montreal, Kalyna Roberge of Ste-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., and Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, each won their two heats to advance directly to the quarterfinals in two distances on Friday to open the fourth stop on the short track speed skating World Cup circuit.

In women’s competition, Overland won her heats in the 1,000 and the second 1,500 metres to qualify for both quarterfinals. Tania Vicent of Verchères, Que., also advanced to the quarters in the same two races while Andrea Do-Duc of Montreal is headed to the repechage in both events.

Roberge won her heat in the first 1,500 and the 500 to qualify for both quarterfinals. She’ll be joined in the 500 by Anne Maltais of Quebec City and in the first 1,500 by Valérie Lambert of Sherbrooke, Que. Maltais is headed to the repechage in the 1,500 while Lambert was disqualified in the 500.

In men’s competition, Monette was the only Canadian to win both his heats as he advanced to the quarters in the two 1,500 races. Steve Robillard and Mathieu Giroux, both of Montreal, join him in the second 1,500 and Charles Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., in the first one.

Hamelin and François-Louis Tremblay won their 500 heats to advance while Giroux, Tremblay and Robillard all qualified for the 1,000 quarters. Alexandre Boisvert-Lacroix of Sherbrooke is headed to the repechage in both the 500 and first 1,500.

Canada qualified for the semifinals in both relays. In the women’s 3,000 relay , Roberge, Maltais, Vicent and Overland won their heat. In the men’s 5,000 relay, Giroux, Tremblay, Hamelin and Robillard overcame a fall to finish second in their heat and advance.

‘’The ice conditions here are much better here than last week (in Heerenveen, the Netherlands),’’ said Yves Hamelin, short track program director for Speed Skating Canada. ‘’That allowed our athletes to skate more comfortably at a faster level. Steve and Mathieu also solved their blade problems from last week and advanced without any trouble today.’’

Competition continues through to Sunday.