Eurosport - Sat, 27 Feb 04:25:00 2010
Canada's short track men triggered wild party scenes among home fans with two Olympic gold medals inside an hour while China completed a clean sweep of the women's titles.
Charles Hamelin avoided a last-corner collision caused by 2006 champion Apolo Anton Ohno to win the 500 metres before helping his team survive a crowded 5,000 relay final to make up for losing the title on the last lap to South Korea in 2006.
"They will be going crazy in Quebec, they will be going crazy in Montreal, party all night," Hamelin said. "I got two gold medals in 30 minutes and it's incredible."
China's Wang Meng won her third gold of the Vancouver Games, adding the 1,000 metre title to her 500 and relay golds. Zhou Yang had triumphed in the 1,500 metres.
"I don't feel these three gold medals belong to me. What is important is that the Chinese short track team has won four (gold) medals," the ginger-haired Wang said.
Hamelin had endured a frustrating Games but made up for it by taking the 500 crown from American Ohno, who was disqualified for knocking over South Korea's Sung Si-bak and Canadian Francois-Louis Tremblay just before the finish.
While Hamelin kissed girlfriend Marianne St Gelais, who won silver in the women's 500, without waiting for the official result, Ohno sensed he would be disqualified as he circled the ice with an air of resignation despite crossing the line second.
The referee watched the replay and Ohno's suspicions were confirmed when Sung was awarded silver and Tremblay bronze.
"There was no space ... I had so much speed, I put my hand up so as not to run into the Canadian but it was out of my control," Ohno said.
Hamelin returned to the ice half an hour later to steer Canada to the relay title in a race featuring 20 skaters on the ice at the same time, making a normally hectic event chaotic.
France had been advanced to make it five teams instead of four.
Hamelin, roared on every time he was pushed into the race, almost lost it for Canada with five laps to go as he slipped on the ice and almost tripped over but he regained his balance.
The Koreans took the silver and raised eyebrows with their unconventional celebrations. They unfurled a large Korean flag on the centre of the rink and all knelt down and bowed their heads in unison.
The non-Koreans in the stands whistled the gesture, perhaps believing the Asian powerhouse, who had won the other two men's titles, were trying to steal Canada's moment of glory.
"We bowed in the direction of our coaches as we wanted to show them our thanks," Kwak Yoon-gy said.
The United States grabbed the bronze to hand Ohno his third medal of the Games and eighth in three Olympics.
None of Ohno's medals were gold this time but China's Wang completed a hat-trick of top prizes in Vancouver.
She survived a near collision with South Korea's Park Seung-hi and American Katherine Reutter on a bend with three laps to go in the 1,000 final but kept her nose in front to cross the line first. Reutter took silver and Park bronze.
Britain's Jon Eley finished sixth in the men's 500m, after agonisingly missing out on a place in the final following a tight finish to his semi-final.
Eley then joined forces with team-mates Jack Whelbourne, Anthony Douglas and Paul Worth to win the 5000m relay B final against Germany and finish the competition in sixth place.
Factbox on Canada's Charles Hamelin:
Place of birth: Levis, Canada
Residence: Montreal, Canada
Previous major Olympic result:
Silver, 2006 Winter Olympics, 5000m relay
2x Gold, 2009, 2007 World Championships, 500m
2x Gold, 2006, 2005 World Championships, 5000m relay
Silver, 2007 World Championships, overall
2x Silver, 2008, 2005 World Championships, 500m
2x Silver, 2008, 2007 World Championships, 5000m relay
Silver, 2007 World Championships, 1000m
Bronze, 2009 World Championships, overall
Bronze, 2006 World Championships, 1000m
2x Gold, 2007, 2005 World Team Championships, team
3x Silver, 2009, 2008, 2006 World Team Championships, team Champion, 2009/10 World Cup, 500m
Hamelin started skating aged 10 and made his debut for Canada in 2004 at the World Cup in the Czech Republic.
His brother Francois is also a member of the Canadian short track team and his father, Yves, is the national short track team director.
He was named speed skating Canada's male short track athlete of the year in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Factbox on China's Wang Meng:
Place of birth: Qitaihe, China
Residence: Beijing, China
Previous major Olympic results:
Gold, 2010 Winter Olympics, 500m
Gold, 2010 Winter Olympics, relay
Gold, 2006 Winter Olympics, 500m
Silver, 2006 Winter Olympics, 1000m
Bronze, 2006 Winter Olympics, 1500m
4x Gold, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004 World Championships, 500m
2x Gold, 2009, 2008 World Championships, 1000m
3x Gold, 2009, 2006, 2003 World Championships, 3000m relay
2x Gold, 2009, 2008 World Championships, overall Gold, 2008 World Championships, 1500m
3x Gold, 2009, 2008, 2005 World Team Championships, team
6x Champion, 2009/10, 2008/09, 2007/08, 2006/07, 2005/06, 2004/05 World Cup, 500m
3x Champion, 2009/10, 2008/09, 2005/06 World Cup, 1000m Champion, 2004/05 World Cup, overall 2x Silver, 2006, 2003 World Team Championships, team Silver, 2006, World Championships, 1000m
2x Silver, 2006, 2004 World Championships, 1500m, overall Silver, 2005 World Championships, 500m
2x Silver, 2005, 2004 World Championships, 3000m relay
Bronze, 2008 World Championships, 3000m relay
Bronze, 2005 World Championships, 1000m, 1500m
World number one Wang's 1000m victory meant China secured a clean sweep of the women's events in Vancouver after Zhou Yang's triumph in the 1500 and Wang's victory over 500 metres. They also claimed the 3,000 relay title.
She began skating at the age of nine even though her parents were not keen for her to do so. She made her debut for China in 2002 at the World Cup in Korea.
In 2007, she threatened to quit the national team after disagreements with the coach. She was also banned from the 2007 World Championships after challenging an umpire's decision and refusing to compete.
She has since been made team captain. Her role model is England football international David Beckham.
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