Hamelin back on top as Canada enjoys world champs success
Part of a phenomenal eight-medal final day for Speed Skating Canada’s short track team, Charles Hamelin became world champion in the 1000 metres in Seoul, South Korea on Sunday.
Skating the distance in one minute, 24.436 seconds, Hamelin beat teammate Samuel Girard (1:24.787) for gold, with Wu Dajing of China (1:24.868) coming in third place.
The victory marked a remarkable 10th world championship gold for Hamelin in a storied career that also includes four Olympic medals.
For Girard, it was his first worlds medal but not the last on the day for him or Hamelin as the two hit the podium together again, this time to claim the men’s relay silver with teammates Alexander Fathoullin and Olympic medallist Charle Cournoyer. China beat Canada to take men’s relay gold and South Korea won bronze for the home fans.
“We had a great race and we showed that we’re able to win at this level,” Hamelin told Speed Skating Canada. “Finishing second was like a win for us, considering the high level of the race. We showed that we’re back on track, and that’s a good sign for the upcoming seasons.”
Hamelin also won a medal in the 3000m – a bronze – helping him to second overall at worlds in points (48), behind Han Tianyu of China (68).
In women’s competition Canada won three medals on Sunday. An individual bronze from Kasandra Bradette preceded a women’s relay silver and an overall medal for Marianne St-Gelais.
Bradette won her first-career worlds medal in the 1000m, her clocking of 1:32.607 beaten by Choi Min-jeong of South Korea (1:31.903) and Great Britain’s Elise Christie (1:31.980).
Later, Bradette returned to the podium with her teammates St-Gelais, Valerie Maltais, Audrey Phaneuf and Namasthee Harris-Gauthier to receive the women’s relay silver. Each of the five skaters had taken part in some aspect of the relay competition through the rounds.
St-Gelais, helped by her world-beating Saturday, took second overall in points among women with 63, narrowly beaten by Choi of Korea (66), who won the 1000m against Bradette earlier.
“I would have liked to do better in the 1000m, a distance where I know I’m able to compete with the best skaters, but I’m still quite satisfied with my weekend,” said Marianne St-Gelais. “I came here to win a world title, which I did in the 1500m, and to finish among the top-3 overall and I was second, so I did more than reach my goals.”
In all, Canada leaves the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships with 10 medals – most of any nation, although China wins the official medal table with five gold, followed by South Korea with three before Canada’s two from St-Gelais and Hamelin.