Canada wins men's 5000m relay gold medal: 'We executed perfectly'

Posted at 6:04 AM, Feb 16, 2022

Canada won the men's 5000m relay gold medal on Wednesday, the final day of short track competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

The Canadians bested South Korea by 0.41 seconds with a time of 6:41.28 after taking the lead during the 28th of 45 laps.

"In the final we just knew what to do, and we executed perfectly," Charles Hamelin of Canada said. "For us it was a done deal with like 15 laps to go. We knew we were going to win."

South Korea earned the silver medal while Italy crossed the line third in a photo finish ahead of the ROC.

Five teams competed in the final instead of four. China crashed during the semifinals but was awarded advancement through interference. The Chinese team finished fifth on Wednesday after Sun Long fell during the last third of the race.

The Canadians and South Koreans were in a two-team battle by the final stretch.

"There were five teams, 20 skaters in total, so it was quite chaotic," China's Wu Dajing described. 

Canada has won the men's 5000m relay in four of the last seven Winter Olympics. 

Hamelin, who was on the last winning team in 2010, earned his sixth career Olympic medal and fourth gold on Wednesday. The 37-year-old has the most short track Olympic medals by a Canadian skater, and he is the oldest medalist in the sport's history. 

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Hamelin's teammates during the winning skate were Pascal Dion, Jordan Pierre-Gillesand Steven Dubois.

"It means so much," Dubois said. "We had such a crazy season, and we wanted to show so bad what we could do. I saw on the last two exchanges that there were some small gaps and thought, 'This is it'." 

Dubois earned three medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics including a silver in the 1500m. 

The Canadians won two of four World Cup events in the relay leading up to the Olympics, proving to be a formidable contender for the gold medal.

"Finishing on top of the podium with these guys, it is living your dream," Hamelin said.

South Korea earned its first medal in the men's 5000m since 2010. Kwak Yoon-Gy, 32, said afterward that he probably won't return to the Olympics in 2026.

"I feel so sorry for not taking gold," Kwak said. "I thank my little brothers on our team for not giving up until the last minute. I raced feeling like 50 million people from our country were racing together with us. Thank you so much for your support."

Hungary, the 2018 gold medal-winning team, won the Final B on a last-second pass of the Netherlands by Liu Shaolin