Road To The Olympic Games

Charles Hamelin golden at short track World Cup

Charles Hamelin couldn't be caught in the men's 1500-metre at the short track speed skating World Cup event in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday.

Canadian speed skater reaches top of podium, teammate Boutin also hauls in a medal

Silver medal winner Hwang Dae-Heon of South Korea, gold medal winner Charles Hamelin of Canada and bronze medal winner J.R. Celski of the U.S. pose for a photo during the medal ceremony for the men's 1500-metre final at the short track speed skating World Cup event in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday. (Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA)

Charles Hamelin couldn't be caught in the men's 1500-metre at the short track speed skating World Cup event in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday.

The Sainte-Julie, Que., native topped the field with a time of two minutes, 14.179 seconds to come away with gold. Dae Heon Hwang of South Korea was second at 2:14.209, followed by American J.R. Celski at 2:14.535.

"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 1500 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."

Both Canadians won medals in the 1,500m race in Seoul, South Korea 1:05

This marked Hamelin's second individual medal of the season as he also collected bronze in the 1500 at the World Cup stage, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands last month

Samuel Girard, of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., earned a fourth-place finish with a time of 2:14.660.

"The semifinal was a bit tough, and I didn't have as much energy as I would have wanted to going into the final, where I make a couple of small mistakes after overtaking on the outside," said Girard.

"But I'm happy because we collected more points for Canada to earn spots at the Olympics, which is the goal this year."

Boutin continues strong season

On the women's side, Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., just keeps on winning medals, this time coming away with bronze in the 1500.

Min Jeong Choi (2:24.515) and Suk Hee Shim (2:24.696) scored gold and silver, respectively, for South Korea, while Boutin clocked in at 2:24.791 for third.

"The strategy was once again to skate out in front and try to push like we're [teammate Marianne St-Gelais] capable of doing. 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," said Boutin, whose other medals this season include a gold and a silver in the 1000m, as well as a gold and a silver in the 500m.

St-Gelais, of Saint-Felicien, Que., was fourth at 2:24.883.

"It was a good race, a highly-contested race, but I should have picked up speed one lap earlier," said St-Gelais.

"At the end, I realized I still had a lot of energy, that I would have had strong enough legs to do more, meaning I should have managed my energy level differently [earlier on in the race]. But there are good things tactically that I can come away with."

Meanwhile, Boutin added to her medal haul which also includes two individual golds and a silver as well as a silver and bronze in relay. 

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