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Charles Hamelin leads Canadian speed skating qualifiers

lmore Junio of Canada competes during the men's 500 meters race of the World Cup speed skating in Heerenveen, northern Netherlands, Friday Dec. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Peter Dejong/AP

Olympian Charles Hamelin led Canadian qualifications in short track speed skating Friday at the World Cup event in Nagoya, Japan.

The Ste-Julie, Que., native and Yellowknife's Michael Gilday placed second in their heats to qualify for the men's second 1,000-metre quarter-finals.

Hamelin, Gilday and Charle Cournoyer of Longueuil, Que., advanced to the 1,500-metre semifinal.

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Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., Quebec City's Alexandre St. Jean and Remi Beaulieu of Alma, Que., advanced to the quarter-finals of the men's first 1,000-metre race.

Jean and St. Jean also won their heats in the men's 500 metres and will race in the event's quarter-finals.

In women's qualifiers, Vanessa Belanger-Marceau of Loretteville, Que., Kasandra Bradette of St. Felicien, Que., and Caroline Truchon of Chicoutimi, Que., qualified for the quarters of the 500-metre event.

Bradette qualified for the quarters for the 1,000-metre race, while Belanger-Marceau and Montreal's Sabrina Bourgela will look to join their teammate through the repechage rounds.

Only Bourgela advanced directly to the quarters of Sunday's 1,000-metre race. Montreal's Andrea Do-Duc will take part in the repechage after finishing third in her heat.

Do-Duc went directly to the semis for Saturday's 1,500-metre competition. Truchon will skate through the repechage to qualify.

The men's and women's relay teams qualified for the semis on Saturday. Gilday, Jean, Hamelin and St. Jean skated in the men's relay, while Do-Duc, Belanger-Marceau, Bradette and Truchon represented the women.

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