February 25, 2006
Tremblay wearing silver skates
PAT GRIER -- Sun Media

TURIN, Italy - Francois-Louis Tremblay had a Cindy Klassen type day, picking up two medals in the short-track speed skating last night at the Palavela arena.

An hour after the 25-year-old Tremblay won silver in the men's 500 metres, he and teammates Eric Bedard, Charles Hamelin and Mathieu Turcotte picked up silver in the men's 5,000 metre relay.

Canada was the two-time defending Olympic champion in the relay, winning it in both Salt Lake City in 2002 and in Nagano in 1998.

The two medals means Canada will finish these Games with 24 - barring a shocker in the men's 50 kilometre cross-country - the country's best result ever at a Winter Olympics.

The 5,000 capped off a good day for Canada after Clara Hughes and Klassen won gold and bronze, respectively, in the women's 5,000 metre long track event.

In the relay, Canada and Korea jockeyed for first place for most of the race and it got physical when Bedard shoved a Korean skater near the end of the race and Canada leading.

But the Koreans overtook Canada on the final lap, winning in an Olympic-record time of six minutes, 43.376 seconds. Canada was timed at 6:43.707 and the U.S. took the bronze in 6:47.990.

Bedard, 29, nearly won the bronze in the 500, but was beaten by Korea's Hyun-Soo Ahn by just 4/1000ths of a second.

Tremblay's individual silver is the first of his Olympic career. He finished in a time of 42.002 behind American Apolo Ohno's 41.935. Ahn clocked in at 42.089while Bedard had 42.093.

Tremblay is from Alma, Que., but makes his residence in Montreal, as do Bedard and Turcotte, 29. Hamelin, 21, is from Ste. Julie, Que. Also on the team but not skating the final was Montreal's Jonathan Guilmette, 27.

Tremblay, who skates out of the Montreal-International club, has been speed skating since the age of four and has been a member of the national team for eight years.

Bedard is a three-time Olympian, winning gold in both Salt Lake City and Nagano in 1998 with the 5,000-metre relay team. He won a bronze in the 1,000 in Nagano as well.

On the women's side, Laval's Tania Vincent won the 1,000-metre B final and Kitchener's Amanda Overland was second after they failed to advance out of the semi-finals.

For Ohno, the gold is his second medal at these Games after taking the bronze in the 1,000 a week ago. He won gold in the 1,500 and silver in the 1,000 in Salt Lake City.







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