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Catch them if you can: Canadian men's short track relay team golden again

The Canadian men's relay team struck gold on Sunday in the Netherlands, making them a perfect two-for-two this season in World Cup competition. The women's relay team also stepped onto the podium for the second time in as many weeks, claiming bronze.

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Canada's Charles Hamelin, shown in this 2016 file photo, was part of the Canadian team that's captured the first two gold medals of the World Cup season in the men's 5000m relay. (File/The Canadian Press)

The Canadian men's short track relay team struck gold on Sunday in the Netherlands, making them a perfect two-for-two this season in World Cup competition.

The women's relay team also stepped onto the podium for the second time in as many weeks, claiming bronze, while Samuel Girard came away with silver in the men's 1,000-metre.

The quartet of Charles Hamelin (Saint-Felicien, Que.), Charle Cournoyer (Boucherville, Que.), Girard (Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que.), and Pascal Dion (Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.) clocked in at six minutes, 42.478 seconds for the win. 

The Canadians won the World Cup relay even in the Netherlands on Sunday. 8:08

"To stay in front on the ice and mentally is really important," Girard said. "It's pretty cool racing with these guys and we have to go away now and train hard and come back even stronger for the Asian legs [of the ISU World Cup, in November]."

Canada was followed by the Netherlands at 6:42.554 and China at 6:42.746.

The same four Canadian skaters reached the top of the podium in the season-opener last week in Budapest, Hungary. 

Meanwhile, China crossed the line first in the women's 3,000 relay with a time of 4:09.491, while South Korea, led by Jeong Min Choi, was next at 4:09.533.

The Canadian entry of Valerie Maltais (Saguenay, Que.), Marianne St-Gelais and Kasandra Bradette (both of Saint-Felicien, Que.), and Jamie Macdonald (Fort St. James, B.C.) posted a time 4:09.729 to secure third. 

The team finished third in a time of 4:09.729 on Sunday. 6:24

"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."

Girard, who won the 500 on Saturday, continued his strong start to the season with his second-place finish in the 1,000.

Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands notched the fastest time at 1:28.328 for his second medal of the weekend, followed by Girard at 1:28.420 and South Korea's Yi Ra Seo at 1:28.955.

The Canadian added to his medal haul in the Netherlands after winning the 500m on Saturday. 3:18

Overall, Canada leaves the Netherlands with eight medals, having collected five medals on Saturday, including a pair of golds.

The Canadians had a good start to the season at the World Cup opener in Budapest last weekend, highlighted by the men's and women's relay teams earning gold and silver, respectively, and a trio of silvers for Boutin.

With files from The Canadian Press

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