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Canada sweeps the World Cup speed skating podium

Canada's Charles Hamelin, left, celebrates his gold medal with teammate and silver medallist Michael Gilday in the the men's 1000-metre final at the ISU Korean Air World Cup short track speed skating Sunday, October 30, 2011 in Saguenay Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Jacques Boissinot/CP

Canada swept the podium in the men's 1,000-metre short track race on Sunday at a World Cup event.

Charles Hamelin of Sainte-Julie, Que., won gold with a time of one minute 28.748 seconds. He was followed closely by Yellowknife's Michael Gilday (1:28.835) and Olivier Jean (1:28.979) of Lachenaie, Que.

"I've never seen that, for sure," Gilday said of the Canadian sweep. "The atmosphere was phenomenal. ... Thank you to everyone in Saguenay."

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World Cup leader Kwak Yoon-Gy finished fourth with a time of 1:29.150.

Francois-Louis Tremblay of Alma, Que., joined Hamelin, Gilday and Jean for a third-place finish in the 5,000-metre relay. The Canadians' time of 6:55.598 was behind Korea's gold medal-winning time of 6:48.401 and Russia's 6:49.808 pace.

Tremblay had more success in the men's 500-metre individual race, winning gold in 41.655 seconds. Guillaume Bastille of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., earned silver with a time of 41.746 and China's Liang Wenhao (41.801) took bronze.

"It's a relief because yesterday I didn't race the way I wanted," Tremblay said. "I fixed up a few things with my blades and a few things with my racing as well. I'm really happy I was able to change the things I needed to change and come out on top at the end."

Tremblay said he was spurred on by an energetic crowd, which included his family.

"It's special because it was noisy, and we don't always expect that in a World Cup, but it's such a great energy," he said. "I'll always remember that."

In women's competition, Marianne St-Gelais of St. Felicien, Que., won gold in the 1,000-metre event in 1:30.710. Great Britain's Elise Christie (1:30.900) and South Korea's Cho Ha-Ri (1:30.908) followed.

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St-Gelais was joined by Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterriere, Que., Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., and Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., in the 3,000-metre relay. The Canadian women finished second with a time of 4:13.728.

China won the event in 4:13.559, while Japan finished third with a time of 4:16.886.

Truchon (44.422) came fourth in the women's 500-metre race. Italy's Arianna Fontana (44.279) and Martina Valcepina (44.353) came in first and second respectively. China's Liu Qiuhong (44.419) was third.

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