Charles Hamelin celebrates his gold medal in the 500 metres on Saturday in Vienna. ((Hans Punz/Associated Press) )

Canada's Charles Hamelin won the 500-metre title Saturday at the short-track speedskating world championships, while teammate Olivier Jean picked up the bronze.

Jessica Gregg of Edmonton won bronze in the women's 500 metres.

Hamelin, from Levis, Que., clocked 41.218 seconds to beat Yoon-Gy Kwak of South Korea, who was second in 41.739. Jean, from Lachenaie, Que., snuck in for third.

But it took some doing for the race to begin as it had three unsuccessful starts. Two were the result of false starts and the other was a race being recalled when Hamelin and Jean fell after contact with China's Lee Jialiang.

"Coming back on the line [after the fall] I got back in my bubble and I had my best start of all," Hamelin said. "I tried to control my speed and track so that no one could pass me, there was a lot of action in the pack behind.

"I stayed relaxed throughout the race, it was a good one and I won it. It was my objective at the beginning of the day."

Defending champion Apolo Anton Ohno of the U.S. failed to make it into the final at Vienna's Ferry Dusika Stadium.

Hamelin moved into a tie for second in the overall standings with  Korean Lee Ho-Suk. A solid performance Sunday in the 1,000-metre event, Hamelin's favourite distance, could put him  among the top-three overall and qualify him for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

Jean is tied for fourth overall with American J.R. Celski and is also looking for a top-three finish with a solid performance Sunday.

"Charles and I were 1-2, we followed each other for the whole race," said Jean. "But in the last lap, Lee tried to pass me inside, I was trying to close the door on him but I lost a bit of speed and then Kwak passed outside at the finish.

"So I crossed the line fourth but the Chinese was disqualified which gave me third place. There was a lot of action in the last corner, with Lee trying on the inside and Kwak outside, I wasn't sure what to protect, the inside or the outside, so they passed me on both sides.

"I should have been more aggressive in the last lap, I feel like I lost the silver. I'm still satisfied, I had a good day overall. My final could have been better."

Wang Meng of China took the women's 500-metre title in 43.182, besting teammate Liu Qiuhong's 43.358. Gregg finished in 43.437.

"I had to race Wang Meng in two of my races today before the final, so my plan was always to stick with her and finish in the top two (to advance to next round)," said Gregg. "I stayed behind her both times and I got two personal bests.

"In the final, it was a tough race with three Chinese skaters. I managed to stay third so I'm really happy."