World championships day 2 - Charles Hamelin, world champion on 1500m ~ Passion/Patin/Vitesse - Passion/Speed/Skating


17 mars 2018

World championships day 2 - Charles Hamelin, world champion on 1500m

Light, camera action. The blockbuster event of the 2017-2018 short track season in Canada started with a bang today at the Maurice-Richard arena as Kim Boutin and Charles Hamelin pleased the home crowd with a podium each.

By Carl Savard
Photos by Danny Kim (dk_st) and Carl Savard

The competition started with the action on 1500m. On the women's side, Suzanne Schulting tried to skate from the back and move up with two and a half laps left but it was too late to qualify for the A final. B final for Schulting is still a good result considering she's been sick all week. Met at the end of the day, Schulting said she felt better today: "I'm pretty happy with how I skated today. Of course, it's not the best I can do but it could have been worse. I wanted to skate in the A final but the legs were just not good enough today." In Shulting's race, Choi Min Jeong and Sofia Prosvirnova got their tickets for the A final. In the second semifinal, local star Kim Boutin and Korea's Kim Alang qualified for the main final while the race was much too fast for young American skater Maame Biney. In the third and last semi, Shim Suk Hee was able to wait and move up in the second part of the race finishing first ahead of Tifany Huot Marchand from France. In the main event, Kim Boutin skated a great race, but it is always difficult to fight against three Korean skaters. Choi Min Jeong is your 2018 world champion on the distance finishing ahead of Shim Suk Hee and Kim Boutin.

On the men's side, the competition was epic. The first race that saw Liu Shaolin Sandor and Denis Nikisha advance to the A final finished with falls by Liu Shaoang and Thibault Fauconnet in what looked like a Mario Kart race. The second semifinal was actually the best 1500m race that I've been able to witness in person. Charles Hamelin and Ren Ziwei battled for many laps until Semen Elistratov was able to make his move to finish in second place behind Charles Hamelin who is totally in his zone right now. In the third semi, Samuel Girard and Lim Hyo Jun made their way to the main final. In the main event, Hamelin showed that he's probably the youngest 33 years old elite athlete right now becoming world champion on 1500m finishing ahead of olympic champion on the distance Korea's Lim Hyo Jun and bronze medalist in Pyeongchang Semen Elistratov. 

As always the competition on 500m was highly exciting. On the women's side, Canada had two skaters in the main final as Kim Boutin and Jamie Macdonald had qualified after hard battles in the semis. They had to face Korea's Choi Min Jeong, Poland's Natalia Maliszewska and China's Qu Chunyu. Boutin was victim of a fall in the main event and Jamie Macdonald finished in fourth. Choi Min Jeong won her second world champion title of the day. Maliszewska finished second while Qu finished third.  

On the men's side, Charles Hamelin couldn't qualify for the A final, but gathered important points in the overall ranking by winning the B final. The main event was won by Korea's Hwang Dae Heon, with Ren Ziwei finishing second and Semen Elistratov third. Charles Hamelin is in first place on the overal ranking after two events. "I'll be a target tomorrow on 1000m. I will need to be wiser than the other skaters, climb all the way to the final and do the kind of race that I'm capable of doing."

On the relay semifinals, Canada, Korea, Italy and the Netherlands will be battling it out tomorrow on the women's final while Canada, Korea, the Netherlands and Japan will fight on the men's event. 

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