4 more gold medals for Canada at World Cup short-track
Jessica Gregg and Francois-Louis Tremblay each won individual gold medals while both the men's and women's relay teams also topped the podium Sunday at a World Cup short-track speedskating event in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Gregg, an Edmonton native, won her first ever World Cup gold in the 500 metres in a time of 43.740 seconds. Arianna Fontana of Italy was second in 44.327 while Meng Xiaoxue of China placed third in 45.177.
Kalyna Roberge of St-Etienne-de-Lauzon, Que., also skated in the 500 final, but finished fourth after falling early in the race.
Anne Maltais of Quebec City finished seventh after taking third place in the B final.
"I was feeling really good in all my races today, I had some fast times so I was confident going into the final", Gregg said. "I had the first position on the line, which always helps, but with Fontana second and Kalyna third, I wanted to go really fast from the start, which I did.
"There was a bit of bumping behind me at the beginning, which turned out unfortunate for Kalyna, but I just kept going strong and skated to gold."
In the men's 500, Montreal's Tremblay captured the gold for the first time since December 2007 in 41.237, followed by British skater Jon Eley (41.385) and American Jeff Simon (41.511).
"In the quarter-final I realized my times were really fast, close to the world record, so I gave a bit more in the semi, and I was just 1-100th of a second off," said Tremblay.
"In the final there was more at stake, so I wasn't going for the fast time, it wasn't worth it. I started a bit slower, but still first, and I accelerated through the race, which kept the others from passing me."
The other Canadians in the distance, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and Francois Hamelin of Ste-Julie, Que., were disqualified for impeding in the quarter-finals and had to settle for 15th and 16th place.
The Canadian women's team took gold in the 3,000-metre relay races, crossing the finish line in four minutes 13.510 seconds. The Italians were next in 4:14.966, while the Americans took bronze in 4:21.190.
"With the Koreans and Chinese out of the final, we knew we had a shot at gold and that's what we were going for," Gregg said. "It was really between us and the Americans, but their skater fell when she tried to block Kalyna who was trying to pass. We all skated really well and deserved the gold."
The Canadian men won the 5,000 relay in 6:46.412, followed by China in 6:47.825 and Germany in 6:49.950.
Canada finished the event with seven medals.