by Michel Belanger
December 20, 2013, TRENTINO, Italy (ISN) – Canadian speed skaters added two podium finishes on Friday at the Winter Universiade to end the three-day short track competition with five medals, including three silver and two bronze.
Guillaume Bastille of Rivière-du-Loup, Que., placed third in the final of the men’s 1000-metre, and then teamed up with Patrick Duffy of Oakville, Ont., Yoan Gauthier of Rivière-du-Loup and Sébastien Landry of Montreal for a second-place finish in the 5000m relay.
Bastille is not the only team member to return home with a pair of FISU medals. Duffy claimed silver on Thursday in the 500m, while Gauthier captured bronze in the 1500m on Wednesday.
“The 1000m went pretty well. Before the event, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about a medal,” Bastille said. “In the first couple of races, I made some bad decisions. But as the day progressed, I felt better and better.”
Bastille, a University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) student and a 2010 Olympic gold medallist in the relay, survived a few scares on his way to the 1000m podium.
After dominating his first race of the day, he finished third in his heat in the 1/8 finals but advanced as the fastest third-place skater thanks to his time of 1:27.917. He was then second in both his quarter-final (1:26.827) and semifinal (1:25.351), having to come from behind in his semi to secure a spot in the championship event.
In the final, Bastille crossed the line in 1:25.777 behind South Korea’s Noh Jin-Kyu (1:25.506) and Um Cheon-Ho (1:25.642), the same two rivals who beat Gauthier in Wednesday’s 1500m.
Gauthier also made it to the 1000m semi but his third place sent him to the B final, which he won to finish fifth overall. Duffy was stopped in the quarters and ended up in 16th position.
On the women’s side, Caroline Truchon of Saguenay, Que., who won silver in the 500m on Thursday, was the top Canuck once again in the 1000m. The Collège de Rosemont student was second in the B final and sixth overall.
Montreal’s Namasthée Harris-Gauthier made it to the quarters and merited ninth place in the standings, while Jamie MacDonald of Fort St. James, B.C., couldn’t make it past the heats and ended up 19th.
In the relays, the Canadian men competed in the A final of the 5000m after setting a Universiade record (6:51.506) in Thursday’s semis, while the women skated in the 3000m B final following a heart-breaking third-place finish in their semifinal.
This time around, it was the men who had their hearts broken.
After leading for most of the race, Bastille, Duffy, Gauthier and Landry couldn’t hold off their rivals from Hungary at the end and had to settle for silver.
In a very fast final, both teams went under the standard set by Canada 24 hours earlier. The judges had to go to the photo finish and Hungary was declared the winner with a time of 6:46.953, compared to 6:46.960 for the Canucks.
“We’re a little disappointed for sure, but we still had a good race,” said Bastille. “We have to keep in mind that Hungary has a very experienced team, they have lots of experience in international competition.”
In the women’s B final, Harris-Gauthier, MacDonald, Truchon and Keri Morrison of Burlington, Ont., prevailed in 4:21.222 to finish fifth overall. South Korea won the A final.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2013/index
Trentino 2013 website: http://www.universiadetrentino.org/en
TEAM CANADA RESULTS & SCHEDULE (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)
Official FISU results: FISU
1. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 1:41.983, advances to quarter-finals.
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:35.692, advances to quarter-finals.
3. Jamie MacDonald, Fort St. James, B.C., 1:35.101, does not advance, finishes 19th overall.
3. Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que., 1:31.523, does not advance, finishes 9th overall.
1. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:32.957, advances to semifinals.
3. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:33.651, advances to B final.
2. Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que., 1:32.996, finishes 6th overall.
1. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:26.925, advances to heats.
2. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 1:28.203, advances to heats.
1. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:34.101, advances to heats.
3. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:45.535, advances to quarter-finals.
1. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., 1:26.480, advances to quarter-finals.
3. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:27.917, advances to quarter-finals.
2. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.698, advances to semifinals.
4. Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont., PEN, does not advance, finishes 16th overall.
2. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:26.827, advances to semifinals.
3. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.579, advances to B final.
2. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.351, advances to A final.
1. Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:29.025, finishes 5th overall.
1. Noh Jin-Kyu, South Korea, 1:25.506; Um Cheon-Ho, South Korea, 1:25.642; 3. Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que., 1:25.777.
WOMEN’S 3000m RELAY
1. Canada (Namasthée Harris-Gauthier, Montreal, Que.; Jamie MacDonald, Fort St. James, B.C.; Keri Morrison, Burlington, Ont., Caroline Truchon, Saguenay, Que.), 4:21.222, finishes 5th overall.
MEN’S 5000m RELAY
1. Hungary, 6:46.953 (Universiade Record); 2. Canada (Guillaume Bastille, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Patrick Duffy, Oakville, Ont.; Yoan Gauthier, Rivière-du-Loup, Que.; Sébastien Landry, Montreal, Que.), 6:46.960; 3. Russia, 6:55.547.