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Charles Hamelin out in 500-metre short-track event

Charles Hamelin falls in the Men's Short Track 500 m Heat 8 at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb. 18, 2014. GETTY IMAGES/AFP PHOTO/Jung Yeon-Je.

Defending Olympic champion Charles Hamelin crashed in his qualification heat in men’s 500-metre short-track speedskating at the Sochi Olympics.

Hamelin won gold in the 500-metre event at the 2010 Vancouver Games and was a medal favourite at these Games.

He already earned gold in the 1,500 metres in Sochi and seemed poised to win three more medals.

However, Hamelin also crashed in the 1,000-metre event and Canada’s men’s 5,000-metre relay team failed to advance to the competition’s final.

Hamelin leading on the last lap of his 500-metre heat when he crashed and smashed into the pads. It appeared he caught a blade in the turn and went down.

The crash cleared the way for Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands to win the heat. Knegt won his country’s first short track when he took bronze in the 1,000 last weekend.

With files from The Associated Press