Road To The Olympic Games

Charles Hamelin wins silver in 1,500-metres at worlds

Canadian speedskater Charles Hamelin won a silver medal Friday at the world championships in the 1,500-metres event. The Ste-Julie, Que., native finished in two minutes 18.676 seconds, just behind Korean winner Noh Jinkyu (2:18.291). American Jeff Simon settled for bronze in 2:18.725.

Canadian speedskater Charles Hamelin won a silver medal Friday at the world championships in the 1,500-metres event.

The Ste-Julie, Que., native finished in two minutes 18.676 seconds, just behind Korean winner Noh Jinkyu (2:18.291). American Jeff Simon settled for bronze in 2:18.725.

The silver finish broke a string of bad luck in the 1,500-metre for Hamelin at world championships. Over the last four years, Hamelin had two disqualifications, one 18th and one 19th position.

Hamelin started out third behind two Koreans, but quickly took the lead. A few passes followed, but with eight laps to go in the race, Hamelin was once again in front. However, Noh passed one lap later and remained strong in first for the rest of the race.

"One of Charles' primary goals this year was to work on different strategies, challenge his patience in races," said Hamelin's coach, Derrick Campbell.

"He had an excellent race strategy today, he was positioned second at the right time in the race. Unfortunately, the Korean just had a really strong showing and although Charles was in the best position to win, he finished second."

Both Olivier Jean of Lachenaie, Que., and brother Francois Hamelin were eliminated in their respective semifinal race, which places them 10th and 11th respectively in the distance.

On the women's side, the three Canadian skaters were also eliminated in the semifinal. Marie-Eve Drolet of Lateriere, Que., finished in seventh overall while Jessica Hewitt of Kamloops, B.C. was 12th. Marianne St-Gelais of St-Felicien, Que., was 18th.

In the last race of the day, Drolet, Hewitt and St-Gelais teamed up with Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., for the relay semi. They dominated their race, and easily won in a time of 4:21.922. They will race the final on Sunday, along with China, Korea and the Netherlands.

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