St-Gelais claims silver in women’s Olympic 500-metre short-track race
VANCOUVER (CP) — Canada’s powerhouse short-track speedskating team is on the board at the Winter Olympics.
Marianne St-Gelais of StFelicien, Que., raced to a silver medal in the women’s 500 metres on Wednesday at Pacific Coliseum.
Chinese star Wang Meng cruised to gold in 43.048 seconds.
St-Gelais finished in 43.707 while Arianna Fontana of Italy took the bronze in 43.804.
“I just felt the greatest emotion of my life,” said Charles Hamelin, St-Gelais’ boyfriend and the top medal contender on the Canadian team. “ I don’t think I could have felt better if it was me winning the medal.”
Hamelin was in the back, surrounded by journalists, watching the race on TV when she crossed the finish line.
Canada missed a chance at two medals after Jessica Gregg of Edmonton finished fourth in 44.204.
Canada’s top sprinter Kalyna Roberge of St-Etienne-deLauzon, Que., failed to make it to the medal race. She was fourth in the event four years ago at the Turin Games.
Roberge and St-Gelais had a long embrace after the race.
Canada failed to make the podium on the first day of the Olympic short-track competition. The team is aiming for six medals at the Games.
In the men’s 1,000-metre elimination heats, brothers Charles and Francois Hamelin advanced to the quarter-finals. Charles Hamelin briefly held the Olympic record Wednesday, but it was beaten a few heats later by South Korea’s Sung Si-Bak.
Nicolas Bean of Ottawa also advanced for the Italian team. He passed Travis Jayner of Riverview, N.B., who is skating for the United States, in the final strides of the heat.
Canada also advanced to the final in the 5,000-metre men’s relay.
Canada's Marianne St-Gelais celebrates after winning the Olympic silver medal in the women's 500 metre final in the shorttrack speedskating competition, Wednesday, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.