Today was the last day of competition of the year for Francois and Charles. They competed one last time in Kolomna, putting an end to a remarkable pre-Olympic season.
Things did not always go as planned for the two brothers; yesterday, as Charles was competing in the 1500m semifinal, he had a nasty fall and got a leg injury. Although it was nothing serious, this bad luck marked the end of the day for Charles, forcing him to abandon the 500m event.
Although he didn’t make the 1500m final A yesterday, François was delighted with his sixth place in overall rankings. “My performance in semifinal was close to being perfect, I was about to qualify but right before the end of the race, the American skater made a move that put me in a bad position. I’m still very proud because it was a tough race, I was competing against two of the strongest skaters, Victor An and Jinkyu Noh.” François returns home fulfilled with optimism and hopes for a podium in Sochi.
Charles followed all the doctor’s advices and it paid off because when he woke up this morning, he felt better and knew he could skate. Despite the pain, the Vancouver Olympic champion managed to reach the highest step of the podium in the 1000m event. “I’m really glad I was able to skate today even with my injury, it’s a nice way to wrap up the season.” This victory makes him history’s third most decorated short track speed skater with a total of 103 medals.
In the relay, the boys fought ferociously for a spot in final A but Charles fell during semifinal and therefore they had to settle for final B. They finally finished their weekend with a 5th place. The Hamelin brothers return home happy, since their goal was achieved; the Canadian team has qualified 3 spots in each distance for the Olympic Games. Mission accomplished and see you soon Russia!