Short Track: Maltais breaks record in Calgary heats

Elsie Christie led the British charge on the first day of the opening short track speed skating World Cup of the season in Calgary, but she was overshadowed by Canadian Valerie Maltais.

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Short Track: Maltais breaks record in Calgary heats
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Valerie Maltais of Canada

Christie, who won double European silver in 2010, qualified out of both her 1000m preliminary races and heats over the distance in Calgary, claiming victory in the latter two.

But it was world champion Maltais who hogged the headlines on her own patch as she set a world record in her first heat of two, clocking one minute 27.653 seconds.

And Maltais, who like Christie will skate in both semi-finals of the 1000m, admitted she always felt capable of breaking the world record in Calgary.

"I knew I was able to get the world record because I did it in the Canadian Fall World Cup selections," said Maltais.

"Before I started my race I just told my coach I was going to go fast during the race. I did not tell him I was going for the world record but in my mind I knew I wanted it."

Two other world records were broken on the opening day in Calgary with Vladimir Grigorev setting a new mark of 40.344 in the 500m preliminaries.

And the Canadian quartet of Michael Gilday, Charles and Francois Hamelin and Jean Oliver set a new world record of 6:30.958 in heats of the men's 5000m relay.

Meanwhile the only other female on the British team, Charlotte Gilmartin, won through to the 1500m semi-finals but must navigate the repechage heats of the 500m.

Three other Brits will definitely be in quarter-final action with Paul Stanley and Richard Shoebridge both making it out of the preliminaries and heats of the first 1000m event.

Two-time Olympian Jon Eley will not join them there after being penalised in the heats although he did reach the quarter-finals of the 500m.

In turn Stanley was penalised in the preliminaries of the 500m while Shoebridge faces the repechage heats as do Jack Whelbourne, Billy Simms and Ian Upcott in the 1500m and second 1000m event.

And, while the Canadian quartet was powering its way to a new world record and into the 5000m relay semi-finals, the British team of Eley, Shoebridge, Stanley and Whelbourne was last in their heat.

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