Canadian’s Charles Hamelin, Oliver Jean and Guillaume Bastille were medal favourites going into this year’s men’s 1,500m event and at the preliminary event Saturday night, they tried to prove it.
Jean, who stands as the tallest competitor in the event, raced in the first heat of the qualification round.
With a finish time of 2:14:27, Jean came in first and set a new Olympic record. This win puts Jean into the finals which will take place later tonight.
In the second heat, Charles Hamelin, who is a confident medal favourite, started in the third position but quickly propelled himself into first place. However, he was quickly passed.
On turn three of the last lap, American Apolo Anton Ohno overtook Hamelin, putting him back to third and ripping away Hamelin’s dream and Canada’s best chance at a gold medal in the 1,500m.
Guillaume Bastille of Quebec, competed in the fifth heat alongside Ohno. Bastille was had a great race until the third lap when he lost his footing and fell to the ice. He quickly got to his feet, only to be disqualified.
It has been said in the past that Ohno likes to make dramatic moves during races, and that came to surface during the final few laps when he saw his opportunity to take the race.
He made his big move by blasting past all the competitors to take first place and finished with a time of 2:17:67 which places him in the finals with Jean to compete for the gold medal.