SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Canada’s Charles Hamelin won gold in the men’s 1,500 metres and Kim Boutin took bronze in the women’s 1,500 on Saturday at the ISU World Cup short-track speedskating stage.
Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, Que., beat South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang and American skater J.R. Celski. Samuel Girard from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., was fourth out of a total of seven skaters in the A final. Hamelin earned his second individual medal this World Cup season, his first gold. He won bronze in the 1,500 metres in Dordrecht, the Netherlands.
"This is a medal that feels really good," said Hamelin. "The way I raced today, the way I felt in the building and out on the ice, it was really something else, I think that is the best I’ve felt all season. It came at the right time, in the last 1,500 metres and next-to-last day of competition before the Olympic Games. This is the result of the work that’s been done this year, and also of the work I’ve done mentally over the years."
Boutin, from Sherbrooke, Que., finished behind South Korean skaters Min Jeong Choi and Suk Hee Shim, respectively. Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Felicien, Que., was fourth out of seven skaters in the A final.
Boutin earned her sixth individual medal of the season and stepped onto the podium in a fourth straight World Cup stage this season. It was the second medal of the season in the 1,500, after she came up with silver in that distance at the first World Cup of the season, in Budapest, Hungary.
"The strategy was once again to skate out in front and try to push like we’re capable of doing," said Boutin. "It paid off at first, as I was able to pull the race for a while, I had plenty of energy to do it. It’s just that they were able to overtake me during the last lap. At least, I held on for a longer time than in previous races. Next time, I’ll hang on until the finish line."
Boutin’s other medals this season include a gold and a silver in the 1,000 metres, as well as a gold and a silver in the 500 metres.
St-Gelais also had to settle for fourth place in the women’s 500 metre A final after a penalty dropped her down a spot after crossing the finish line in third place. The win went to Britain’s Elise Christie, who won it ahead of South Korea’s Min Jeong Choi and Italy’s Martina Valcepina.
St-Gelais was the only Canadian out of the five who had qualified for Saturday’s final rounds in the 500 metres, to reach the A final. Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Felicien won the B final to finish fifth overall.
In the relay, the Canadian women’s team comprised of Boutin, Kasandra Bradette, St-Gelais and Jamie Macdonald finished fourth in their heat and will skate in Sunday’s B final.