The 33-year-old Hamelin, who has one individual bronze from Dordrecht, said: “It was my best racing so far this season. I wanted to prove to myself I still can be on the podium in the world cup and I think today was a perfect day for me.”
The three-time Olympic gold medallist was visibly overjoyed, punching the air after the finish line and rushing over to kiss partner Marianne St-Gelais (CAN).
“I felt really, really good. I never felt like that for the whole year,” he added.
After several laps of constant overtaking, the race settled into a fight between Hamelin and Hwang. The latter looked to be on track for his seventh individual medal this world cup series until Hamelin sprang into action.
“I was waiting and waiting for the perfect moment and he opened the door a little bit in the second-last corner and I took advantage. I knew I had to attack the last corner to have a good finish so I could be first at the line... pretty proud of myself,” Hamelin said.
He is already looking ahead to the Olympic Games.
“It’s really good to have such results in Korea because we’ll be back in two months for the Olympics, so just to have some good vibes here is really good for me.”
On his surprise bronze, Celski said: “Definitely, it was a bit lucky. In short track, anything can happen.”
Fellow American John-Henry Krueger won the B final.
The confirmed list of quota places for the PyeongChang Olympics will be announced by the ISU.
Full entry lists and results of the Audi ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating are available here.