Marianne St. Gelais of St. Felicien, Que., and Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., won Saturday's 500-metre races at the Canadian Open Short Track Championships.

St. Gelais won the women's race in a time of 43.574 seconds.

"It's a distance that I have confidence and that I control well," said St. Gelais. "And we saw very well today the results I can get in the 500 metres."

Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., settled for the silver medal in a time of 43.732 seconds, while Valerie Lambert of Sherbrooke, Que., took bronze in 45.516 seconds.

In the men's 500-metre final, both Hamelin and silver medallist Francois-Louis Tremblay bounced back from disappointing results in Friday's 1,500 metres.

Hamelin defended his 500-metre title with a convincing win, leading from start to finish in a time of 41.062 seconds.

"I didn't have any bad luck. I didn't fall and I had good races," said Hamelin, who was first in each of his four races. "I showed that I was the fastest on the ice today. It went well, a big final, a big victory that moves me back up in the ranking. I'm very relieved."

Tremblay, of Alma, Que., took second place in 41.346 seconds, while Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., won the bronze medal in 41.383 seconds.

Francois Hamelin, also of Sainte-Julie, cut his left foot during the quarter-finals and will not compete the rest of the weekend.

The championships serve as the main component for national team selection for the world championships in Debrecen, Hungary, in March.