Vancouver / Canada

The Canadian men won Gold in Relay. They also triumphed in 1998 and 2002. Earlier Charles Hamelin had taken his first gold medal. They left Korea right behind them in second place and in third place finished the USA. For American Apolo Ohno, it was his 8th Olympic medal.

Five teams had made the relay finals due to a disqualification of Italy in the semifinals, because of which France was added to the four great countries. The B-final was between Great Britain and Germany where team GBR won because of a final spurt of Jon Eley.

In the A final, China took the lead, Canada followed, then Korea, France and USA. After a lap and a half France was only barely hanging on at the edge of the field and after a third of the race there was a fall of Jeremy Masson in the French team because of which they couldn’t get away from fifth position. With 16 laps to go, Olivier Jean moved past Weilong Song. Until then, the Chinese had been leading, but Canada got that top-position and Charles Hamelin skated with top speed and increased the gap with the skaters behind them. Hamelin almost lost his balance and regained it, but as a result the Chinese team had come closer again and also Korea was not far behind. USA had steadily been in fourth. Jialiang Han from China slipped on the home straight and China lost their medal position. Tremblay held on to the gold in the last skate. The USA with Apolo Ohno had a final sprint but did not succeed in overtaking Korea, who finished in second. Ohno got his 8th Olympic medal.

Apolo Ohno: “We compete from the very beginning to the very end in the Olympic Games and you have to stay as consistent as possible. I skated my heart out. It was really a team effort. Without these guys, I wouldn’t be able to skate individually. This is the future of our short track team. I’ve been here a long time, and I’m very content.”

Si-Bak Sung, who also had silver in the 500m: “I feel that our strategies and tactics weren’t perfectly executed.” Yoon-Gy Kwak: “We laid our flag on the ground to express thanks and appreciations to all our Korean fans and we bowed in the direction of our coaches to show the same to them.”

Charles Hamelin had just had his first gold medal half an hour earlier. “It’s impossible to describe the feeling. I will never have another moment like this, winning two gold medals in 30 minutes.” and “When I lost my balance, the only thing I was focused on was to keep my two feet  on the ice. I then pushed my brother as hard as I could to avoid losing our position...” And about their strategy: “The strategy was to be extremely confident. It was called ‘Operation Cobra’ which was where François-Louis had one minute and ten seconds rest before he did the last two laps. And the last two laps were very good.”