Marianne St. Gelais fails to make final in 500-metre short-track race
Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 09:45 am
SOCHI, Russia - It was a disappointing day for Canada's Olympic short-track speedskating team.
The Canadian men won't be defending their gold medal in the 5,000-metre relay after finishing fourth in the semifinals.
Francois Hamelin fell early in the race and Canada was unable to catch up. Russia finished first while China grabbed the second qualifying spot.
The Netherlands, Kazakhstan and the U.S. advanced from the first semifinal that saw powerhouse South Korea also go out.
The result means Charles Hamelin won't get the chance to become Canada's most decorated Olympian.
He needed a medal in all four of his events to pass speedskater Cindy Klassen and speedskater/cyclist Clara Hughes, who each have six medals.
Meanwhile, Marianne St. Gelais of St-Felicien, Que., won't have a chance to win another medal in the women's 500 metres after finishing third in her semifinal. Only the top two skaters advanced.
St. Gelais, who won a silver medal in the 500 in Vancouver four years ago, had a challenging start position in the outside lane. She finished in 44.069 seconds, behind Seung-Hi Park of South Korea (43.611) and Italy's Arianna Fontana (43.624).
Britain's Elsie Christie won the second semifinal in 43.837 while China's Li Jianrou was second in 43.841.
Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C., and Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., didn't make the semis.
Park is trying to give South Korea a victory in the only short track event it has never won. If she does, the nation would be the first to win all eight Olympic short track events.
The final was scheduled for later Thursday at the Iceberg Skating Palace.