Short track: Hamelin crashes out, Ahn coasts through to 1,000m final

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[February 15, 2014]  SOCHI, Russia (Reuters)  Home crowd favorite Viktor Ahn coasted into the men's 1,000 meters short track final on Saturday, while his main rival Charles Hamelin wiped out in a qualifier at the Sochi Games.

Ahn, who won three Olympic gold medals for South Korea at the 2006 Turin Games but now skates for Russia, will be joined by his training mate Vladimir Grigorev in the final.

The two men will seek to add to the host nation's first ever medal in short track, seized by Ahn in the 1,500m.

They will race Wu Dajing of China, Sin Da-woon of South Korea and Knegt Sjinkie of the Netherlands for the medals.

Canadian Hamelin had been chasing Ahn in the quarter-finals when his legs went flying and he spun out into the boards, taking down American Eduardo Alvarez, who came away with a bloody lip.

"You know, the ice broke under my blades and the next thing I know I was into the boards," sighed a downcast Hamelin, who had been a favorite going into the race after he grabbed gold in the men's 1,500 meters on Monday.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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