This day turned into Charles Hamelin's day really quickly. He started out with a semi in the 1500 that was quite difficult. Si-bak Sung, Apolo Ohno, Nicola Rodigari and Sjinkie Knegt. He made it through fine. The final turned into the real show though. With three Koreans in the final, Charles knew to stay close to the front and not let the Koreans dominate. Si-Bak Sung hit the front and it looked to be a done deal. But Charles held in second, and then sniped Sung at the line by .001 seconds. A great start that really pumped up the home crowd. On a side note, this was the first World Cup win in the 1500m in 12 years. Jonathon Guilmette was the last to do it.
Video of the the 1500m and post-race interview can be found here:
A second shout out goes to Travis Jayner of New Brunswick, who now skates for the US on getting his first individual wolrd cup podium.
The biggest thing that I noticed with the 1500m skating was that no one was going to let the Koreans just take over the race like they did in Asia. The Koreans finished 2, 4 and 6 a big difference to their two sweeps in China and Korea.
500s were next. Highlights on the womens side were Kalyna Roberge's silver. Almost better than the second place was that she had a great start and managed to pass Meng Wang early in the race. This is something Wang isn't used too, and will give her something to think about. Jess Gregg said that Wang in beatable and it seems the girls really believe it.
In the men's 500, Charles and Flou both had dominating performances through all the round and were one two on the line for the final. Charles lead, but Flou made a nice pass. Unfortunately for him though he slipped and had to settle for 4th. This opened the door for Charles' second win of the day.
From what went on today, it would be fair to say that Flou is back at the level that he was before injuring his ankle and he could have won today if not for bad luck. The only slight hitch is that Si-Bak Sung lost an edge and went down earlier in his semi, this not allowing us to see him in the final and the crowd missed out on what could have been an even bigger showdown.
I had mentioned that the ice was pretty bad earlier this week. Things aren't a ton better, the ice is still soft apparently, but the refs seem to be smart about making sure that there are lots of Zambonis so that the the ice is fair for everyone.
If you are looking for video coverage and live in the US you can check out full coverage of today's racing at universalsports.com.
Hope you all enjoyed the live coverage by CBC today. They will be back tomorrow as well so make sure to check it out.