Marianne St-Gelais fails to qualify for short track final

Canada’s Marianne St-Gelais — silver medalist in the women’s 500-metre short track in the 2010 Olympics — failed to reach this year’s final, placing third in her semifinal heat.

St-Gelais fell back to third in her quarter-final, but managed to recover in time for a second place finish.

But her slower time placed her closest to the wall in her semifinal, putting her at a disadvantage as she was unable to finish in the top two to qualify for the final.

The 23-year-old skated in the B final, but finished in last place.

St-Gelais’ Canadian teammates, Jessica Hewitt and Valérie Maltais, also failed to advance beyond their quarter-final heats.

Women’s 500-metre final

Chinese skater Li Jianrou won gold after all three of her competitors crashed early in the race. Li skated unopposed for most of the race, finishing with a time of 45.263 seconds.

Italian skater Arianna Fontana came in second with a time of 51.250 seconds, while Park Seung-Hi of South Korea won bronze with a time of 54.207 seconds. Both women fell early on in the race, but were able to finish.

British skater Elise Christie was disqualified.

Canada’s woes continue

Team Canada, the defending 5,000-metre men’s relay champions from the 2010 Olympics, also failed to qualify for the final in Sochi.

Canada placed fourth in its heat with a time of 6:48.186 after François Hamelin fell partway through the race. The Canadians were unable to catch up with the Russians, Chinese, and Italians, and will instead compete in the B final.

Team Russia placed first in the heat with a time of 6:44.331. The Russians spent most of the race in third place, but advanced into a qualifying position with fewer than 10 laps to go.

Team China placed second with a time of 6:44.521.

Joining Russia and China in the final will be the Netherlands, Kazakhstan, and the United States.

The Dutch and Kazakh relay teams qualified for the final after the Koreans and Americans wiped out in their semifinal. The Americans will still advance to the A final, however, meaning five relay teams will compete for gold.

Men’s 1,000-metre heats

Canadian skaters Charle Cournoyer, Olivier Jean, and Charles Hamelin all won their heats and will advance to the quarter-finals in the men’s 1,000-metre short track competition.

Cournoyer and Hamelin were well ahead of the other skaters when they won. Jean, however, finished just .002 seconds ahead of the Netherlands’ Sjinkie Knegt in a photo finish.

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