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Canadian skaters Maltais and Hamelin win World Cup short-track gold

SHANGHAI — Valerie Maltais won gold in the women's 1,000 metres Saturday while teammate Charles Hamelin finished first in the men's 1,500 on a three-medal day for Canada at the ISU Short-Track Speedskating World Cup.

Maltais, from La Baie, Que., earned her second career individual gold by finishing first in one minute 30.693 seconds. Dutch skater Suzanne Schulting won silver in 1:31.389 and South Korea's Shim Suk-hee took bronze in 1:30.752.

The Canadian's last individual World Cup gold came in a 1,000-metre race in Montreal back in 2012.

"Let's say that I was looking to win this gold medal for a long time," she said. "I came close (earlier this season) in Toronto, but I'm happy I did it in Shanghai."

Hamelin, from Sainte-Julie, Que., extended his streak by taking gold at a fourth straight World Cup event. He finished first in 2:12.634, holding off Dutch skater Sjinkie Knegt (2:12.701) and Park Se Yeong of South Korea (2:12.767).

"The final was held with eight skaters, so it was key to avoid falling into the trap of being too patient and finding yourself too far back," Hamelin said. "I therefore looked to overtake skaters early on, and was able to do it well. With seven laps to go, I found myself in front and I was able to stay there by managing my energy level effectively."

Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., added a silver in the men's 1,000. South Korea's Kwak Yoon-Gy won gold and Russia's Semen Elistratov took the bronze. Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., was fourth.

Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Félicien, Que., finished sixth in the women's 1,500. Both Canadian relay teams qualified for the A finals on Sunday.

Francois Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., will not race Sunday. He suffered a concussion and a fractured tooth after a crash in the 1,500-metre final. Hamelin was swept by Chinese skater Guang Chen's fall and crashed into France's Sebastien Lepape.

The Canadian Press

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