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Canada wins gold, Hamelin makes history in men's short-track speed-skating 5,000m relay in Beijing

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The men’s Canadian short-track relay team has struck gold.

Speed skaters Charles Hamelin, Pascal Dion, Steven Dubois, Jordan Pierre-Giles and reserve Maxime Laoun finished ahead of the Republic of Korea and Italy in a frantic race to capture the gold medal in the 5,000-metre final on Wednesday.

Canada's speed skating team has captured another gold medal in historic fashion at the Beijing Olympics. (Getty)
Canada's speed skating team has captured another gold medal in historic fashion at the Beijing Olympics. (Getty)

Hamelin made history in his final career Olympic race, winning his sixth medal to tie Cindy Klassen's record as the most decorated Winter Olympian in Canadian history. The 37-year-old’s first medal came in the 2006 Turin games, where he won silver in the relay event.

The native of Sainte-Julie, Que., is also tied with Hayley Wickenheiser, Caroline Ouellette and Jayna Hefford for the most gold medals by a Canadian athlete at either the Summer or Winter Olympics.

He did it in dramatic fashion. Canada finished the race with a time of 6:41.257. South Korea battled throughout, coming closely in second place at 6:41.679, while Italy secured bronze with a time of 6:43.431.

This was also Dubois’s third medal in Beijing. The Olympic Games rookie captured the silver in the 1,500-metre and bronze in the 500-metre individual events, adding to the tremendous success Canadians have had in short- and long-track speed-skating in this edition of the Games.

Canada's women's relay team secured gold in the long-track speed skating event on Monday, with Isabelle Weidemann, Ivanie Blondin and Valérie Maltais setting a new Olympic record for the team pursuit.

It was Weidemann's third medal of these Games.

Tuesday's gold-medal finish for the men's team is an improvement for Team Canada, which settled for bronze in the 5,000-metre relay event in the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Canada now has three gold, four silver and 11 bronze medals for a total of 18 podiums in Beijing — the fifth-best total by any nation so far.

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