Veteran Charles Hamelin Wins Third 1500m World Champion Title of his Career

Hamelin brings his career World Championship medal total to 37; Courtney Sarault wins silver in women’s 1500m

DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS – Despite being the oldest skaters on the international circuit, Charles Hamelin continues to show that he is still among the world’s very best. The 36-year old – who is competing in the 17th World Championships of his career – was crowned world champion in the 1500m on Saturday at the ISU World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.

Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.), who was advanced into the A Final after being involved in a collision during his semi-final, brought home gold in the 1500m in a time of 2:18.143. He finished ahead of Itzhak de Laat of the Netherlands (2:18.202) and reigning European champion Semen Elistratov of Russia (2:18.296).

It marked the third World Championship title in that distance for the national team veteran, having previously finished first in 2014 and 2018. The 2018 overall champion has now won a total of 37 World Championship medals over the course of his illustrious career, including 13 gold, 14 silver and 10 bronze.

Hamelin was also the top Canadian in the men’s 500m on Saturday, finishing third in the B Final after crashing out, which ranked him seventh overall in the distance.

World Championships rookie Maxime Laoun, who is competing internationally for the first time since suffering a severe leg injury in November 2019, finished an impressive sixth overall (2:19.262) in the 1500m. Teammate Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) was penalized in his semi-final race and finished the distance ranked 20th overall. Neither skaters advanced past the quarterfinals in the 500m.

On the women’s side, Courtney Sarault stretched past Dutch skater Xandra Velzeboer at the finish line to steal the silver medal in the 1500m (2:37.089). Reigning World Champion Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands earned gold, while fellow Canadian Florence Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, Que.) finished third in the B Final, which ranked her 10th overall.

It was the Moncton native’s first career World Championship medal, having previously finished a career-best 11th in the 1500m in 2019. The 20-year old won bronze in the 1500m at the 2019 World Junior Championships and earned three medals in the distance on the World Cup stage, two silver and one bronze.

Sarault made a smooth inside pass on the final lap of the 500m B Final to finish first (43.232), earning her valuable ranking points. Meanwhile, 17-year old Brunelle was penalized in the semifinals, earning her a ninth-place ranking in the distance.

Canada’s relay teams were also in action for the first time in over a year on Saturday. The men’s squad of Hamelin, Laoun, William Dandjinou (Verdun, Que.) and Jordan Pierre-Gilles (Sherbrooke, Que.), as well as the women’s team composed of Sarault, Alyson Charles (Montréal, Que.), Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) and Claudia Gagnon (La Baie, Que.), each finished third in their semifinals and will skate in tomorrow’s B Final.

The ISU World Short Track Championships come to an end on Sunday, where medals will be handed out in the 1000m and both the men’s and women’s relays.

With podium performances on Saturday, both Hamelin and Sarault remains in contention for the overall world championship titles, which will be handed on Sunday based on the cumulative results in each of the individual distances (500m, 1000m, 1500m), along with the 3000m Super-Final. Hamelin currently is tied for first-place with 36 points, while Sarault is ranked third overall with 24 points.

CBC Sports will have live streaming coverage of Sunday’s races starting at 5:10am ET, as well as televised coverage as part of their ‘Road to the Olympic Games’ program at 1:00pm ET. Visit the schedule to confirm broadcast and streaming times in your area.

Results

  • Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.): 1st in 1500m, 7th in 500m
  • Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.): 2nd in 1500m, 6th in 500m
  • Florence Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, Que.): 10th in 1500m, 9th in 500m
  • Maxime Laoun (Montréal, Que.): 6th in 1500m, 19th in 500m
  • Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.): 20th in 1500m, 14th in 500m

Quotes

  • “I was so confident in what I was capable of doing today, because of the training I did this season in Montreal and the training that I did since arriving in the Netherlands. The career experience I have gained definitely played a factor. It is one of the advantages I have over the competition and it’s one of the reasons why I end up with a medal in the 1500m. I knew how to manage my race today and legs today and was able to capitalize on that to win. It was still a big challenge for me - considering my age, the covid situation and the fact that I haven't raced in over a year. I think this win ranks fairly high place in my list of accomplishment; I would say among my top three World Championship medals." - Charles Hamelin
  • “Yesterday, I felt I got all of the nerves out and today I was really able to focus on what I do best. I’m really happy with my result. I still have a little bit of learning to do, in terms of how to get into a certain spot at the right time. I had the legs today but was lacking a bit on a few things that could’ve maybe helped me get the gold. I felt like if there was one more lap, I could’ve closed the race better. I kind of forget what it was like to win medals and celebrate, so this was really special for me. I’m just really proud of myself. I worked really hard over the past year in training, so it feels really nice to see my hard work pay off.” - Courtney Sarault

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