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2014 Winter Olympic short track speed skating medal predictions

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According to Speed Skating Canada on Monday, the Canadian short track speed skaters will have an opportunity to prepare for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi with a test event on January 16 and 17 in Montreal.

This is a strong move by Speed Skating Canada because the world's best short track speed skaters have not had an opportunity to compete in World Cups since November.

The Canadians look excellent heading into the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and they will be led by the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 500m--Charles Hamelin of Levis, Quebec. Hamelin won the 2014 World Cup title in the men's 1000m and 1500m and won two World Cup events in Sochi last year in the men's 500m and 1000m.

Hamelin's most significant challenger will be Victor Ahn, who used to represent South Korea, but is now representing the home nation of Russia.

The Canadians also look strong in both relays, while Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Quebec will contend for a podium spot in the women's 1500m, where she finished fourth in the 2014 World Cup standings.

The best female short track speed skaters are South Korean teenagers--18 year-old Alang Kim and 17 year-old Suk Hee Shim, who will not only be competing with one another for the top of the podium at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, but at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeonchang as well.

In the first of a 15 part series, here are my medal predictions for short track speed skating at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games:

Men's 500m--(February 21)

Gold--Victor Ahn--Russia
Silver--Dajing Wu--China
Bronze--Charles Hamelin--Canada

Men's 1000m--(February 15)

Gold--Charles Hamelin--Canada
Silver--Victor Ahn--Russia
Bronze--J.R. Celski--United States

Men's 1500m--(February 10)

Gold--Han-Bin Lee--South Korea
Silver--Jinkyu Noh--South Korea
Bronze--Charles Hamelin--Canada

Men's Relay--(February 21)

Gold--Russia
Silver--Canada
Bronze--Netherlands

Women's 500m--(February 13)

Gold--Meng Wang--China
Silver--Kexin Fan--China
Bronze--Arianna Fontana--Italy

Women's 1000m--(February 21)

Gold--Suk Hee Shim--South Korea
Silver--Alang Kim--South Korea
Bronze--Elise Christie--Great Britain

Women's 1500m--(February 15)

Gold--Suk Hee Shim--South Korea
Silver--Alang Kim--South Korea
Bronze--Valerie Maltais--Canada

Women's Relay--(February 18)

Gold--China
Silver--South Korea
Bronze--Canada

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