Canada's Marie-Eve Drolet finished third Friday in a 1,500-metre race at the world short-track speedskating championships, an event dominated by South Korea and China.
Drolet of Laterriere, Que., stopped the clock in two minutes 23.474 seconds. China's Li Jianrou posted a winning time of 2:23.217, followed by Liu Qiuhong's 2:23.411.
"The final was quite different [than the semifinal] because there were eight skaters [instead of the usual six]," said the 30-year-old. "For sure my coach Sebastien [Cros] and I thought I absolutely had to stay among the top three because there were so many skaters. I'm very happy with my third place finish."
Canada hadn't won a medal in the 1,500 since Alanna Krauss took bronze during the 2003-04 season.
Li, fifth in the event at last year's world championships, trailed Liu for most of the race but passed her teammate on the final lap.
"It is my first gold at world championships," Li said. "I was relaxed in the final which helped my performance."
No. 1-ranked Cho Ha-ri of South Korea failed to make the final.
"The absence of Cho in the final made me feel more confident," Li added. "She is one of my strongest rivals."
South Korea and China swept five of the six podium finishes in Shanghai, including the men's 1,500. Noh Jink-yu of South Korea won gold in 2:15.661, with teammates Kwak Yoon-gy (2:15.755) and Sin Da-woon (2:15.861) also standing on the podium.
Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., was only 0.083 seconds from the bronze, finishing in fourth place (2:15.944). Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., followed in fifth spot (2:16.373).
Two finals were scheduled for Saturday — the men's and women's 500, followed by six championship races Sunday on the final day.
The Sunday races are 1,000 and 3,000 men's and women's races and relays over 3,000m for women and 5,000 for men.
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