dimanche 22 février 2009

FISU Games 2009 - 3000m -

Guillaume Bastille came within three hundredths (0.03) of second from bronze in today's 3000m event at the World Winter University Games in Harbin. He skated an exceptional final against a field with 4 Korean, 2 Chinese and 1 Japanese competitors. With 2 laps to go, he was in 3rd place between the eventual silver and bronze medalists from Korea. Entering the corner, he clashed skates with gold medalist Seung-Hoon Lee as Lee passed the leading skaters by the outside (Guillaume's right and Lee's left). Guillaume was knocked off balance momentarily but was able to recover and make a last ditch effort for bronze at the finish line.

The only other Canadian to reach the semis was 500m specialist Alex Boisvert-Lacroix. Despite skating an 8.7 in the race he finished well off the pack.

Liam McFarlane was disqualified for impeding - a real head-scratcher on this one - and Tyler Derraugh eliminated in their respective heats.

Résultats du 3000m - Hommes
1 087 LEE SEUNG HOON KOR 05:25.608
2 086 KIM SEOUNG IL KOR 05:25.775
3 089 YUN TAE SIK KOR 05:26.187
5 088 JANG WON HOON KOR 05:26.768
6 081 UEMURA DAISUKE JPN 05:27.197
7 068 CHEN XIN CHN 05:27.403
8 069 WANG HONGYANG CHN 05:28.705

The women's competition was unique in that there were only 4 skaters in the 3000m final. Korean skaters finished 1st and 3rd and Chinese 2nd and 4th. Marie-Andree Mendes Campeau and Nita Avrith finished 5th and 7th respectively in their semi for final rankings of 5th and 7th overall on the distance.

Ladies Final A 3000m
1 027 CHOI JUNG WON KOR 05:26.183
2 011 LIU QIUHONG CHN 05:26.212
3 026 KIM HYE KYUNG KOR 05:28.094
4 010 MENG XIAOXUE CHN 05:46.191

Annik Plamondon and Valérie Lambert were in the other semi, a race which saw all 8 athletes disqualified for not trying. With supposedly 100 million Chinese watching on television the referee felt it was imperative that the athletes put on a good show. He was certainly doing his part! Several of the heats were restarted and this was the case in semifinal A. After a verbal warning in english which was undoubtedly NOT understood by most of the skaters, the semi started again. There was some early movement but not a lot of action. The referee blew the whistle again and escorted the skaters from the ice, disqualifying the lot. This dashed the Canadian strategy of sprinting with 19 to go but did ensure there would be no Chinese sweep in the 3000m.

Overall a fine showing by the Canadian skaters in a distance that has been extinct in Canada for 3 years.

At the end of the day the Canadian men's team of Derraugh, Bastille, Shoebridge and McFarlane won their semifinal and qualified easily for the final. Like the women, they'll face China, Korea and Japan tomorrow after the 1000m event.

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