Charles Hamelin Tops Short-Track 1000m Qualifying at 2018 Winter Olympics

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2018

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10:  Charles Hamelin of Canada competes during the Men's 1500m Short Track Speed Skating qualifying on day one of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Canada's Charles Hamelin set a new Olympic record in the heats of the men's 1,000-metre short-track speedskating on Tuesday. 

The Canadian's mark of one minute, 23.407 seconds saw him safely into the quarter-finals, while South Korea's world-record holder Daeheon Hwang also made it into the next round with a win in his heat.

Meanwhile, world champion Yira Seo, another hope for the host nation, survived a scare, having finished in third position in his heat. However, he progressed after a penalty against Han Tianyu in the same race.

Here are the top three from the heats on Tuesday as the 1,000-metre event got under way at Gangneung Ice Arena.

             

1. Charles Hamelin (CAN)1:23.407

2. Wu Dajing (CHN)1:23.463

3. Sjinkie Knegt (NED)1:23.823

            

For the results in full visit the Pyeongchang website.

          

Hamelin on Form in Heats

(L-R) China's Wu Dajing, Canada's Charles Hamelin and France's Sebastien Lepape compete in the men's 1,000m short track speed skating heat event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 13, 2018
MLADEN ANTONOV/Getty Images

Although the times at this stage of the competition aren't too important, Hamelin made a big statement with his display on Tuesday.

The Canadian found himself in a difficult race with Wu Dajing and France's Sebastien Lepape in Heat 5, meaning there was no room for easing off in the latter stages. Hamelin rose to the challenge, though, putting in a brilliant performance to break the competition record.

As noted by CBC's Charlsie Agro after Hamelin's record, he'll be delighted to be looking in such good shape in the 1,000-metre race:

He'll be determined to perform well in it, too, as the three-time Olympic champion missed out on the final of the 1,500 metres due to a penalty in his semi-final. 

In a sport in which success depends on such fine margins, there's a long road between the Canadian and glory still. Especially given the calibre of competition he will face, particularly from the South Korean competitors.

Hwang is a man to watch out for as the rounds progress, with the world-record holder getting through his heat in much more routine style.

Hwang is among the favourites for victory in the 1,000 metres.
Hwang is among the favourites for victory in the 1,000 metres.ROBERTO SCHMIDT/Getty Images

He too is hoping to bounce back from disappointment earlier in these Games. Hwang was in a brilliant position for a medal in the 1,500 metres before a fall cost him a spot on the podium. 

There was almost a big surprise in Heat 6, as Seo appeared to be struggling midway through and was unable to get in the top two provisionally. However, on review he was given a reprieve, as it was deemed he was nudged off balance by Han. 

Meanwhile, after a silver medal in the 1,500m, Knegt is another man who will be dangerous in the latter stages, as he was comfortable in his Heat 4 victory.

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