Another Gold Medal for Charles Hamelin in Short Track Speed Skating World Cup

Charles Hamelin (Ste-Julie, QC) once again had the crowd on their feet when he won the gold medal of the 1000m race at the fourth stop of the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup.

“The crowd gives me a lot of energy here,” he said after receiving his medal. “My strategy was good, no Korean was able to beat me today. This gives me confidence in myself.” It is a seventh world cup medal this season for the Ste-Julie skater. The other two Canadians in the 1000m had more difficulty and Marc-André Monette (Montréal, QC) was disqualified in the semi-final. Jeffrey Scholten (Montréal, QC) was eliminated in the quarter final.

That gives a good picture of the day for Team Canada. On the women’s side, Ivanie Blondin (Ottawa, ON) is the only skater who was able to reach the finals. The 16 year old skater finished 4th in the 1500m, just like she did last weekend at her first World Cup. Annik Plamondon (Longueuil, QC) fell in the semi-final race.

In the 1000m, everyone’s hopes were on Kalyna Roberge (Ste-Étienne-de-Lauzon, QC) after Amanda Overland (Montréal, QC) and Anne Maltais (Québec, QC) were eliminated in quarter finals. Triple medallist in Saguenay, Roberge was facing an all Asian heat and she was disqualified after trying a risky pass.

“It’s always tough behind the Koreans, and I have to start in front and stay there,” explained Roberge. “I had a good strategy for my race, I made a mistake. This helps me gain more experience. I have to be careful not to come too much on the inside when I pass a skater.”

In the men’s 1500m, Olivier Jean (Lachenaie, QC) seemed to be skating to a medal, when he fell with a few laps to go. He finished the race, but was also disqualified. François-Louis Tremblay fell in the semi-final and was unable to qualify.

The last races of the day were the relay semi-finals, and Canada managed to qualify both on the men’s side, first of their heat, and on the women’s side, second of theirs.

Tomorrow, the twelve Canadian skaters are back on the ice in the 500m, another 1500m and the relay finals. Ten of them are already qualified for the quarter finals of their respective distance. Michael Gilday (Northwest Territories) will be of the 1500m repechage and Annik Plamondon will skate in the 500m repechage in the morning.