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Chinese Women Skaters Sweep 500 Worlds

March 12, 2005

BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese women skaters took all three medals in the 500-meter races and Canada claimed a gold and a silver in the men’s competition at the world short track speedskating championships Saturday.

China’s Yang Yang seized the lead right from the start and held it against compatriots Wang Meng and Fu Tianyu to win the women’s final in 45.038 seconds.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, Wang finished in 45.129 seconds, just ahead of her second-ranked teammate Fu, who crossed the finish line in 45.232 seconds.

The teammates threw their victory bouquets to a wildly cheering crowd and took an extra victory lap after the awards ceremony, holding their national flag aloft.

Last year’s 500-meter champion, Choi Eun-kyung of Korea, took fourth place, finishing in 45.296 seconds. Bulgaria’s Evgenia Radanova, who holds the women’s world record in the 500-meter event, finished last in 45.367 seconds.

In the men’s competition, Francois-Louis Tremblay, who on Friday won the silver in the 1,500-meter race, won gold in the 500- meter event, edging out fellow Canadian Charles Hamelin in 42.106 seconds.

Hamelin, ranked third in the world, finished in 42.135 seconds, well ahead of the 2004 men’s overall champion, Ahn Hyun-soo of Korea, who crossed the line in 42.185.

Japan’s Takafumi Nishitani grabbed the lead position from the shot but was overtaken by Tremblay by the second lap. Nishitani finished fourth in 42.541 seconds.

The three-day meet continues on Sunday with men and women competing in the 1,000- and 3,000-meter events and relay races.

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