The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre was buzzing with activities with the first medal awarded in the short track speedskating events, featuring the 1500m event. Alberta qualified four skaters in the women’s semi-final round, and five skaters in the men’s semi-final race.

In men’s racing, Matej Pederson, 17, won his men’s semi-final heat and automatically advanced to the finals, while Brendan Yamada, 18, of Calgary, AB qualified by time, finishing third in his very fast semi-final race.

The final featured five Quebec skaters and two Alberta skaters: Pederson and Yamada of Calgary, AB. In the tightly contested race, Pederson made his move within the last moments of the race to cross the finish line in third place.

“The crowds excitement during the entire race really fueled me. I made a few mistakes, but at the end, I pulled through and just battled it out with the Quebec guys,” said Pederson. “I know all these Quebec guys pretty closely as I race with them all the time. It is a little intimidating when you know how strong they are, and how they swept all the podiums.”

Cezera Bere, 14, of Calgary, AB advanced to the women’s final as she got tripped in the women’s semi-final.

In a tightly contested final race that saw patience and a well-timed attack reward, Bere finished fourth just .005 seconds off the All-Quebec podium.

In the team relay, both Alberta men and women’s teams qualified for the 3000m team relay to take place on Friday, February 22.