Plamondon two for two at Canada Post Open Championships

Annik Plamondon of Longueuil, Que., earned her second victory in two days on Saturday placing first in the women’s 500-metres at the Canada Post Open Championships in short track speed skating.

In the women’s 500 final, the race was restarted when there was a fall off the start. On the restart Plamondon led from start to finish to win the gold. Anne Maltais of Quebec City was second and Valérie Gauthier of Jonquière, Que., third.

‘’I think I benefited from the restart in the final,’’ said Plamondon. ‘’I never thought I would come here and win two races. I missed a lot of training this winter due to some bad colds. On the other hand the 500 is my best race and once I got through the semis I was pretty happy.’’

In the men’s 500, Joel Mineau of Longueuil was the surprise winner with Mathieu Giroux of Montreal second and Marc-André Monette of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., third.

‘’My goal was to make the final and at that point I was already thrilled,’’ said Mineau, 18. ‘’And I just kept it going in the final.’’

The competition also serves as the second of two national team trials. The first was held in December. The top-two overall over the two trials gain a spot on next year’s national team. The other six spots are filled by the Olympic team. Also on the line are spots on the national development team.

Plamondon leads the women’s trials standings with 4,652 points followed by Nita Avrith of Montreal at 3,702 and Raphaele Lemieux of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., at 3,411.

On the men’s side, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., who won all four races at the first trials and 1,500 on Friday, has a big overall with 5,196 points. Giroux is second at 3,866 and Monette third at 3,619. Jean was eliminated in the quarterfinals Saturday when he was disqualified trying to pass Mineau for the second qualifying spot.

Competition ends Sunday.