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Quebec’s Charle Cournoyer wins world cup speed skating silver

Charle Cournoyer, of Boucherville, Que., captured a silver medal Saturday at a World Cup short-track speedskating event.

It was one of three medals for Canadian competitors as Marie-Eve Drolet of Laterriere, Que., and Guillaume Bastille of Riviere-du-Loup, Que., both registered third-place finishes.

Cournoyer finished second in the men's 1,000-metre final with a time of one minute and 25.732 seconds. China's Wenhao Liang claimed the gold in 1:25.677 while Victor An of Russia was third in 1:25.824.

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"I knew I had good legs and my fitness level was excellent," Cournoyer said. "I've learned to remain calm (in the race), breathe and analyze the situation.

"The final went pretty well. It was not the race I thought was going to happen. Olivier (Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que.) and two others (An and Korea's Jinkyu Noh) fought for positioning early on and I took advantage of the situation at the end."

Bastille took third in the men's 1,500-metre race, collecting his second bronze medal of the season with a time of 2:14.179. Korean Da Woon Sin was first in 2:13.149 while American J.R. Celski was second in 2:13.195.

"I really tried to manage my races so that I had as much energy as possible at the end," Bastille said. "I've had a tendency in the past to burn my energy too early.

"This year I have improved and I think it paid off this weekend."

Francois Hamelin, of Sainte-Julie, Que., was 16th while Vincent Cournoyer, of Boucherville, Que., was 19th.

Drolet, a week before her 31st birthday, was third in the women's 1,500 for her second medal of the season. Elise Christie of Great Britain won the gold in 2:21.851 with Korea's Min-Jung Kim second in 2:21.952.

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"I'm satisfied and happy with my bronze medal," Drolet said. "But at the same time I'm pleased with how I was before the race, how I prepared.

"There were eight skaters in the race (final), so I really didn't want to start off too far back. At first I was well positioned, but eventually I fell to the back of the group. I had to make a pretty aggressive pass to take third place and then I hung on until the end."

Gabrielle Waddell, of Red Deer, Alta., was eighth.

The Canadian women's relay team qualified for the final against China, Korea and the Netherlands. After a fall early in the first minute of the race, Canada rallied to finish second.

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