It was no surprise to hear cheers for Charles Hamelin when introduced during the men’s 1,500 semi finals Saturday night.
It was a star studded first round with Hamelin, America’s Apolo Anton Ohno and S. Korea’s Le Jung Su competing for two of the seven spots in the medal round.
Hamelin quickly made his move into first but lost ground and allowed Jung-Su to take over. Ohno was back to his creative ways waiting in the back for the perfect moment to stride to the front. He did just that during the last lap, skating past Hamelin to take second.
Jung-Su and Ohno battled for first, but with a last turn push, Jung-Su came out in front and sending both men heading to gold medal round.
The Koreans once again set a new Olympic record with Jung-Su’s time of 2:10:949
With a time of 2:11:225, Hamelin was visibly disappointed after the race.
In the second round of the semi final, “Reggae Man” Oliver Jean was attempting to make it to the medal round to capture Canada’s first medal.
There was huge disappointment mid way through when Jean lost his footing and slid into the wall. Upon further review, Jean was found to have been tripped and placed in the final round as a rare seventh position competitor.
With the biggest ovation and to the surprise to the Canadian fans, Jean showed up in the finals to try to capture a medal.
Keeping a steady pace, Jean fell behind halfway through the race.
Ohno, using a different method of skating in the finals, stayed in the middle of the pack compared to his regular style of skating in the back.
In the final laps, Jung-Su held first place while his teammates, Lee Ho-Suk and Sung Si-Bak, held second and third to possibly have the medal sweep. During the final turn of the final lap, both Ho-Suk and Si-Bak fell.
As a result, Jung-Su took home the gold while Ohno and teammate J.R. Celski took second and third respectively.
With the unfortunate crash of the Korean’s, Jean finished fourth with a time of 2:18:806.