COC photo: Kristina Velan

Canada sizzles on short track

MONTREAL – Canada lit up the short track in Montreal this past weekend at the Samsung ISU World Cup No. 2 at the Maurice-Richard Arena, winning a slew of medals. Most impressive was a podium sweep in both the men’s and women’s 500-metre finals.

In the women’s 500m final Sunday, Jessica Gregg of Edmonton topped the podium with her second medal of the season, after claiming the first 500m final Saturday. Marianne St. Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que., earned silver, her first medal of the season, while Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., earned her first World Cup career medal with the bronze.

In the men’s 500m final Sunday, Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., won his third career World Cup gold medal, edging out his teammates at the finish. Michael Gilday of Yellowknife won his second silver medal in as many World Cups this season, coming in second place. Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta., won his second career World Cup medal, taking bronze.

Valérie Maltais of La Baie, Que., won her first career World Cup race taking the 1,000m final. In the men’s 1,000m final, Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., won his 52nd career World Cup medal, a silver and his third medal of the season. On Saturday, Hamelin won silver in the first set of 500m finals. Teammate, Olivier Jean earned the bronze in that race.

“We had a tough battle Olivier and I, and I believe that’s what cost us gold and silver,” said Hamelin. “I’m still happy with the silver medal. It means that I raced well.”

In the women’s relay final, Canadians Gregg, Maltais, St. Gelais and Truchon won the silver medal behind China, who took gold. Japan earned the bronze medal, while Russia was fourth and Korea fifth.

The circuit continues with the third World Cup in Nagoya, Japan from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and fourth in Shanghai, China, the following weekend, Dec. 7-9.