By PAUL NEWBERRY
2014-02-19 03:22 AM
SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Charles Hamelin arrived at the Sochi Olympics touted as a medal contender in all four men's short track events.
He'll have to settle for one gold.
Hamelin fell again on Tuesday in the 500-meter heats, somehow going down while comfortably ahead of the field.
"I was feeling really good. Everything was under control," Hamelin said. "Everything was good for me until that unfortunate fall happened."
Hamelin also went down for no apparent reason in the 1,000, taking out American skater Eddy Alvarez. Also, the Canadians fell in the semifinals of the 5,000 relay, costing another shot at a medal.
While some short trackers have complained about the Iceberg Skating Palace, where the rink is also used for figure skating, Hamelin refused to blame the quality of the ice for his problems.
"I felt good skating here and skating at the training arena," he said. "I never had a bad feeling on the ice. I don't think it's a point for me to say, 'Aww, the ice was bad.'"
He doesn't consider his performance to be a disappointment. After all, he started the games with a gold medal in the 1,500. He added that medal to the two golds he won in Vancouver in the 500 and relay.
"Yes, I could have won more than one," Hamelin said. "But to have one medal, and it's a gold, is a plus. I wanted to show the world that Canadians were able to race against the best in the 1,500. I proved it."
After his fall, Hamelin hung around to cheer on the Canadian women, who captured silver in the 3,000 relay. The squad included his girlfriend, Marianne St-Gelais.
"I'm so happy for them," he said. "I couldn't be more proud of Marianne and the team."
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963