Team Canada - Charles Hamelin - Seoul World CupPhoto: AP/Ahn Young-joon
Photo: AP/Ahn Young-joon

Hamelin gold, Boutin bronze at season’s last short track World Cup

Charles Hamelin and Kim Boutin put Team Canada on the podium at the last ISU World Cup Short Track stop of the season in Seoul.

On the first day of finals, Hamelin claimed gold in the men’s 1500m. It is just his second individual medal in the four World Cup stops this fall. Teammate Samuel Girard finished fourth.

« It was my best racing so far this season, » said the reigning Olympic champion in the event. « I wanted to prove to myself I still can be on the podium in the World Cup and I think today was a perfect day for me. »

The race had come down to a battle between Hamelin and home favourite Hwang Dae Heon, but in the second last corner, Hamelin saw his moment to attack and got to the line first. He celebrated with a fist pump and a kiss with fiancee Marianne St-Gelais.

« It’s really good to have such results in Korea because we’ll be back in two months for the Olympics so just to have some good vibes here is really good for me, » said Hamelin, whose only other podium this year was a 1500m bronze in Dordrecht.

In the women’s 1500m, Boutin led for most of the final but eventually finished behind Koreans Choi Min Jeong and Shim Suk Hee. Choi won three of the four 1500m races this season. Boutin had previously won silver in the distance at the first stop in Budapest.

« In the last lap, the Koreans always pass me but I feel this race was a good learning experience. It was a really hard race, » said Boutin, who likes her race strategy but knows it needs some work. « I’m really comfortable in front so maybe I’m going to try to win the last lap. »

St-Gelais finished fourth in both the 1500m and 500m, taking a penalty in the latter. That didn’t stop her from finishing atop the overall 500m standings.

The World Cup Short Track season concludes tomorrow, after which the ISU will confirm how many athletes each country has qualified for PyeongChang 2018.