Short Track

Greg Hughes - Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014 05:47 ET

Charles Hamelin, Marianne St-Gelais crash in short track heats

Day of mixed results for Canada

Charles Hamelin falls in 500m

Charles Hamelin crashes out of the heats in the men's 500-metre short track speed skating event. (Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters)

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Although both Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais will leave Sochi with medals, they will likely be disappointed with their performance in their signature events at these Olympics.

Hamelin, from Lévis, Que., favoured to win in the men's 500-metre short track event, was leading in his heat until crashing near the end of his race. His fall happened in almost the same spot as his slip in the 1,000 earlier in the Games.

"I did have a really good start, did some passing to make myself go into first. The race was going smoothly, everything was under control. I don't know what happened exactly," Hamelin told CBC Sports.

"As I said earlier, short track is a rude sport and I think it's proof right now. It's not like if I did a mistake if I did some moves on people," he added.

Hamelin's crash in the 500 caps off a shocking turn of events for the Canadian champion in Sochi. 

After winning gold in the men's 1,500, Hamelin has now crashed in both of his other individual events: the 1,000 quarter-final and now the 500.

Charles's brother, François Hamelin, crashed in the men's 3,000 relay, which led to the Canadian men finishing last in their semifinal. 

Despite the tough finish to Hamelin's experience in Sochi, he's still feeling good about his Olympic experience overall.

"I have the gold medal and I have the gold medal on the distance that I wanted to prove that Canada was about to fight against the best in the 1,500-metres," Hamelin said.

"I feel proud to come back home with that medal."

Other Canadians managed to advance in the men's 1,000: Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., easily won his heat, finishing first with a time of 41.180.

Olivier Jean of Repentigny, Que., also advanced to the quarter-final. 

High drama in women's 1,000 heats

This is one Olympics that St-Gelais, of Saint-Felicien, Que., would like to forget.

The 24-year-old fell early on in her heat, finishing last and failing to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Her crash only added to her frustration in Sochi after finishing third in her 500-metre semifinal and failing to qualify in the 1,500. 

Even though St-Gelais' Sochi experience has been a difficult one, other Canadians enjoyed positive results in their qualifying heats. 

Valérie Maltais set an Olympic record in her heat and advancing to the quarter-finals with a time of 1:28.771. Maltais, a native of La Baie, Que., was well ahead in her heat and faced no real opposition in qualification. 

Marie-Ève Drolet of Chicoutimi, Que., also advanced to the quarter-finals with a time of 1:31.273.

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