NAGOYA, Japan—Brothers Charles and Francois Hamelin won gold and bronze respectively in the men’s 500-metre final at the ISU World Cup on Saturday, while fellow Canadian Marianne St-Gelais earned bronze in the women’s 500 for her fifth medal this season.
Charles Hamelin (41.016) of Sainte-Julie, Que., finished ahead of South Korea’s Kwak Yoon-Gy (41.017) by one thousandth of a second to come up with his second consecutive gold medal in the 500 metres.
“I had a slight moment of panic at the end when the Korean skater came inside and I needed a photo finish to confirm the win,” said Charles, the elder Hamelin brother. “You don’t win a race by one thousandth of a second every day, but I’ll take it when it happens!. Especially when you consider I was in a final with my brother, I was happy about that.”
Francois Hamelin, who skated to a time of 41.899, earned his second bronze medal in as many World Cups.
“After having one of my best-ever 500 metre races earlier in the day, let’s say I didn’t come up with one of my best performances in the final, but it still ended up in a podium,
said Francois. “I again proved to myself that I’m back among the top skaters in the world. Two podium finishes in five races this season, for me, that’s probably my best stretch ever. It’s quite encouraging and a lot of fun!”
The last time Charles and Francois Hamelin had ended up together on the same podium was at the second stage of the 2008-2009 World Cup season, in Vancouver. Charles won gold and Francois earned bronze in that race, but in the 1000-metre distance.
On the women’s side, St-Gelais, from Saint-Felicien, Que., extended her streak of podium finishes with a bronze in the 500 metres (44.579). She now has won five medals in five individual events so far this World Cup season, including three in the 500-metre distance.
China’s Fan Kexin (44.078) and Great Britain’s Elise Christie (44.224) finished ahead of the Canadian to respectively win gold and silver.
In the women’s 1,500 metres, Valerie Maltais of La Baie, Que., was fourth, finishing behind three South Korean skaters.
In the men’s 1,500 metres, Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., was the only Canadian in the A final and he finished fifth.
The men’s and women’s Canadian relay teams both qualified for Sunday’s A finals by each finishing second in their semifinal heat, Saturday.