Maltais, Hamelin victorious at short-track nationals
Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Charles Hamelin of Saint Julie, Que., each earned gold in their respective women's and men's 500-metre final at the Canadian Open short-track championship.
Maltais won the four-and-a-half lap final in 44.182 seconds, with Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., claiming silver in 44.263 seconds. Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterriere, Que., was the bronze medallist.
It was a three-skater final, as Kasandra Bradette of St. Felicien, Que., withdrew because of an injury.
"For sure that for me I'm happy," said Maltais. "I was right behind Marie-Eve. I was going to try something before the finish. I believe when she fell we had to go wide to gain speed and I just missed hitting her. Winning certainly helps for the point standings. It's going to be a good battle tomorrow."
In the men's final, Hamelin, bronze medallist in 2011, battled from third spot with two laps to go to edge out the four-man final in 41.51 seconds. Francois-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que., finished with the silver medal in a time of 41.579 seconds while Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta., took the bronze medal.
"I had good results [in earlier races]. In the final the tempo was quite a bit higher," said Hamelin. "I left from the third position and there were guys who took off fast. I didn't panic. I stayed in control. I went for the move that would win the race."
The Canadian championship serves as the national team selection event for the final two World Cups and World Championship.