Canada defended its men’s relay world title, taking the gold medal at the short-track speedskating world championships Sunday.
Charles Hamelin, Michael Gilday, Oliver Jean and Charle Cournoyer finished the race behind the South Korean squad. But the Korean team was penalized for interfering with Gilday and almost making him fall in a turn. That gave the Russians the silver medal and the Dutch team received bronze.
“I went to pass (the Korean skater) and he came across at me pretty hard,” said Gilday. “I thought I was by and he sort of almost body-checked me. I lost my balance, I was on my left skate for a long and went pretty low on it (but held on).
“We defended our world championship, and I think is the most important. All the guys did a good job. We had a dismal World Cup season and we didn’t execute very well throughout the whole year. But when it mattered at the world championships, we executed in the semifinal yesterday and executed in the final today. I think we earned our title.”
The Canadian women’s relay team earned a silver medal and Hamelin also won bronze medals in the 1,000 metres to finish third in the overall ranking.
Hamelin, of Sainte-Julie, Que., took the overall bronze medal with 39 points from his bronze medals in the 1,000 and 1,500 metres and a third place finish in the 3,000 metres. Da Woon Sin of Korea was the overall world champions with 89 points and countryman Yun-Jae Kim was the silver medallist with 55 points.
In the women’s relay, Marianne St. Gelais, Valerie Maltais, Marie-Eve Drolet and Jessica Hewitt skated to silver medal in 4:15.106. China won gold in 4:14.104 and Japan came in for the bronze in 4:15.680. Korea was fourth in 4:20.104. The Canadians were trailing the teams from Korea and China for most of the race, but with four laps to go a Korean skater fell.
“I’m really satisfied with what we did in the relay,” said St. Gelais. “It was a pretty fast race even thought the ice isn’t really fast. The Korean and Chinese were fighting in front. They (Koreans) made a mistake so that’s why we got the silver.”