Canada takes gold in men’s 5,000-metre relay at short-track World Cup

Canada takes gold in men’s 5,000-metre relay at short-track World Cup

It’s the second World Cup relay gold medal for the Canadian men’s team in as many weeks

The Canadian men’s 5,000-metre relay team won gold on Sunday to highlight a three-medal day for Canada at a short-track speedskating World Cup.

Samuel Girard took silver in the men’s 1,000-metre while the women’s 3,00-metre relay team scored a bronze medal.

The men’s relay, featuring Charles Hamelin of Saint-Felicien, Que., Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., and Pascal Dion of Riviere-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que., crossed the line in six minutes, 42.478 seconds for the win.

The host Netherlands followed for the silver medal 6:42.554 and China placed third in 6:42.746.

It’s the second World Cup relay gold medal for the Canadian men’s team in as many weeks. They also finished first at the season-opening meet in Hungary.

This is the first time since the fall of 2013 that Canada has won gold in the men’s relay in two consecutive World Cup stages.

“After winning our first gold medal since November 2015, last week, the bar was high to return with another peak performance and stay on top,” said Girard.

“We came on the ice ready to battle against all these strong countries and we executed our plan like we needed to. It was a tight race at the finish line, but we dominated over the last few laps. This is another good, strong win for us.”

VIDEO: 2017 B.C. Short Track Speed Skating Championships

In the women’s relay, Canada’s Valerie Maltais of Saguenay, Que., Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., and Marianne St-Gelais and Kasandra Bradette — both of Saint-Felicien, Que., finished third in 4:09.729.

“It’s very satisfying, it all seems to be going the right way,” Bradette said. “We have been training really hard to gel together on the ice and as our individual performances have got better so our team has improved.”

China won gold in 4:09.491 and South Korea took silver at 4:09.533.

“We’re very happy with how we raced today,” Maltais said.

“That was the first time that we found ourselves in such a tight race and were able to control it. I don’t remember the last time we were ahead and in control like this with two laps to go. It’s a sign that the day where we will beat the South Koreans is coming and that we’re on the right track.”

Girard followed his gold-medal performance in Saturday’s 500 with a silver in the 1,000 on Sunday in 1:28.420. Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands won gold and South Korea’s Yi Ra Seo finished third.

The Canadian Press

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