Sport Shorts: Medals on Ice and Snow…and in Gymnastics

Short Track Prowess: Canada concluded the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships with an impressive five medals. The men’s relay team took home gold while the women’s relay team captured bronze. Double Olympic gold medallist Charles Hamelin (Ste-Julie, Que.) took home silver in both the 1,500 and 1,000- metre races, which put him in 2nd place overall for the 2nd time in his career. Oliver Jean took his turn climbing on the podium after skating to silver in the 500 metres.

Two Times the Fun for Bilodeau: Olympic and world champion Alex Bilodeau (Montreal) captured double gold at a World Cup event in Sweden, leading his teammates to a very successful weekend. Bilodeau won single and double moguls medals, marking his 28th World Cup medal, and moved into 2nd place in the overall standings. Olympic and world champion Jenn Heil (Spruce Grove, Alta.) also had a two-medal event, winning silver in moguls and bronze in dual moguls on the challenging course – marking her 57th World Cup medal. Justine Dufour-Lapointe (Montreal) gave American Hannah Kearney a fierce battle in the dual moguls final, taking silver while Kearney won her 7th-straight gold. Mikael Kingsbury (Deux-Montagnes, Que.) added bronze in the moguls run.

Nesbitt Finishes Strong: Olympic champion speed skater Christine Nesbitt (London, Ont.) came out strong Saturday at the World Single Distance Championships in Inzell, GER, winning gold in the 1,000 metres. The victory capped her tremendous post-Olympic season. Friday’s results saw Nesbitt finish an impressive 5th in the 1500m competition, with Denny Morrison (Fort St. John, B.C.) landing in the same spot in the men’s 1,000 metres.

Elsewhere, Nesbitt and Winnipeg’s Brittany Schussler and Cindy Klassen combined to win gold in the women’s team pursuit. On the men’s side, Morrison, Lucas Makowsky (Regina) and Mathieu Giroux (Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que.) skated to a silver medal finish. This was the first time these three had skated together since winning Olympic gold last February.

Babikov Heading to Finals: Canada’s Ivan Babikov delivered one of his strongest performances of the year turning in an 8th-place finish at across-country skiing World Cup in Lahti, FIN. Sitting in 55th spot overall on the World Cup standings heading into the weekend, the Canmore, Alta. resident needed a strong result to fight his way into the top-50 to secure his ticket to the World Cup Finals next weekend in Sweden.

Skiing & Shooting: The Canadian men’s biathlon squad joined forces to finish 11th in the relay event at the World Championships in Russia.

Gymnastics Action: Madeline Gardiner (Cambridge, Ont.) – who graced the cover of International Gymnast magazine in March – won silver in the all-around event and gold on the uneven bars at the Gymnix International event. It’s another big step toward a 2012 Olympic berth. Olympic silver medallist Jason Burnett won gold Saturday at a meet in South Africa, his first action in about a year. In Winnipeg, rhythmic gymnast Mariam Chamilova (Maple, Ont.) swept three of four events en route to the senior all around gold medal Sunday at Elite Canada, her second consecutive title.

Team Manitoba Claims Brier: Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton claimed his first Brier title since 1999. Team Manitoba topped Team Ontario in London, Ont. on Sunday night by a score of 8-6.