Sport Shorts: Hamelin and Nesbitt Dominate World Cups

Hamelin Dominates Montreal: Charles Hamelin cemented his status as Canada’s biggest short track speed skating threat by winning three individual medals at a World Cup in Montreal. He sent a clear message to competitors by capturing two gold medals in the 1,500 metres and the 500 metres. For the 1,500 metres, it marked just the second time a Canadian man has won gold in the event. The native of Ste-Julie, Que. added a bronze medal in the 1,000 metres as well.

Also in front of a cheering home crowd, Kalyna Roberge (St-Etienne de Lauzon, Que.) won silver in the 500 metres. Both the relay teams won medals as well, a silver for the men’s team (Hamelin’s fourth medal) and a bronze for the ladies team. The results mean Team Canada is well on its way to earning full quotas (three skaters per event) for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Nesbitt Rocks Berlin: The speed skating winter season kicked off in Berlin on the weekend and Canadians grabbed some World Cup hardware. Leading the way was Christine Nesbitt (London, Ont.), who absolutely stole the show with two victories. First she won gold in the 1,000 metres. Then she won gold in the 1,500 metres in decisive fashion. It was her first career back-to-back golden performance. Among the many great results by Canadian skaters were a bronze medals by Brittany Schussler (Winnipeg) and Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, B.C.) in the women’s and men’s 1,500 metres.

Silver Sensation: Two-time Olympian and one-time world champion Brent Hayden was in fine aquatic form over the weekend in Moscow. As the sole Canadian swimmer at the World Cup event, the Mission, B.C. native won two silver medals in freestyle. On Nov. 6, he celebrated Toronto’s 2015 Pan American victory by winning silver in the 100-metre freestyle in 46.14 seconds – breaking his own Canadian record. The next day, in the 200-metre freestyle, he claimed his second silver

At the next World Cup, beginning Tuesday in Stockholm, 11 other Canadian swimmers will join Hayden. They include Olympians Scott Dickens and Tanya Hunks, both of Vancouver.

Dancing to a Bronze: At a figure skating Grand Prix in Nagano, Japan, Ontario ice dance pair Paul Poirier (Unionville) and Vanessa Crone (Aurora) won a bronze medal. At a Grand Prix in Russia two weeks ago, they finished fourth. In ladies individual, Cynthia Phaneuf (Contrecoeur, Que.) finished in sixth spot. The top Canadian pair was Mylene Brodeur (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.) and John Mattatall (Wallace, N.S.) in fifth.

Fine Form in Finland: Attention world, the Canadian women have spoken. The national hockey team defeated arch rival U.S. 5-1 on Saturday to win the Four Nations Cup in Tikkurila, Finland. It is the first time since 2007 that Canada beat the U.S. in the final game of an international tournament.

Jumpers Put on a Show: In Toronto at the Canadian show jumping championships, Mac Cone (King City, Ont.) defeated his 2008 Olympic silver medal teammates Ian Millar and Jill Henselwood to win the title. Millar was second, Henselwood third.

Following the Flame: The Olympic Torch reached Iqaluit Monday as part of its amazing and ambitious relay across Canada. It dips down into Quebec Tuesday, reaching Gaspé and Sept-Iles. On Wednesday, it travels into Newfoundland, reaching Labrador City and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.