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Canada's Charle Cournoyer wins bronze in 500-metre short-track speedskating

Canada's Charle Cournoyer rounds a corner to place second behind Wu Dajing of China in the men's 500-metre semi-finals at the Sochi Winter Olympics Friday, February 21, 2014 in Sochi.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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Charle Cournoyer has won bronze in the men's 500-metre short-track speedskating race.

The Boucherville, Que., native finished behind gold-medal winner Viktor Ahn of Russia and China's Wu Dajing.

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Cournoyer advanced to the finals with second-place results in the quarter-finals and semifinals. He was assured of a medal when China's Liang Wenhao fell during the four-skater final.

The 22-year-old, who was making his Olympic debut, hadn't finished better than sixth during the current World Cup season.

Cournoyer was the only Canadian in the final after Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., was fourth in his quarter-final race to finish 13th overall.

Charles Hamelin of Saint-Julie, Que., was the defending champion but failed to advance out of the heats.

The medal will be a relief to a short-track team that now has just three medals in a disappointing overall performance at the Winter Games.

In the women's 1,000, Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., fell during the semifinal while Marie-Eve Drolet of Chicoutimi, Que., was eliminated in the quarter-final.

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