Winter Sports

Maltais helps Canada take seven overall medals in short-track

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Associated Press
3/11/2012 12:06:04 PM
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SHANGHAI, China -- Valerie Maltais was a triple medallist Sunday as Canada won seven medals on the final day of the world short-track speedskating championship.

Maltais, from La Baie, Que., won gold in the 3,000 metres, bronze in the 1,000 and silver in the women's overall competition.

"Today was really my day. I felt good," said Maltais. "I started off my day by telling myself I have all to win and nothing to lose."

The 21-year-old finished the 3,000 in four minutes 55.408 seconds -- 5.779 seconds faster than silver medallist Arianna Fontana of Italy. Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterriere, Que., took the bronze.

Maltais finished with 47 points in the overall competition to take silver behind Li Jianrou of China. Arianna Fontana of Italy was third with 44 points.

Maltais was third in the 1,000 in 1:31.350.

"I kept the same strategy throughout the day, but trying to take the lead and staying there," said Maltais. "It almost worked all the way to the final, but I was passed in the last half lap. In general, I am very happy with the 1,000 metres."

"In the 3,000 metres, once again I surprised myself," she added. "I lapped the group and in the end nobody could catch up to me."

Ha-Ri Cho of South Korea won gold in the 1,000 in 1:31.283 and Li took silver in 1:31.325.

In the men's relay, Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., Liam McFarlane of Medicine Hat, Alta., Francois-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que., and Guillaume Bastille of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., won gold in 6:42.570.

"It was a race that we followed our game plan," said Jean. "We followed our coach's (Derrick Campbell) instructions to the letter. Our plan was to be patient and then use our speed at the end of the race."

Japan finished second and Russia was third.

Yoon-Gy Kwak won the men's overall competition and fellow South Korean Jinkyu Noh took the silver.

Jean won bronze after earning enough points from his fourth-place finish in the 3,000.

"I'm happy with my 3,000-metre race," said Jean. "A Korean skater, Da Woon Sin, was in a position to pass me in the overall standings, so we battled for the sprint points during the race. I was successful in winning those important points."

Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., won bronze in the men's 1,000 despite suffering an injury after making contact with a Chinese skater.

Valerie Maltais  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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