Kim Boutin returned to international competition with a podium finish in the ladies 1000m at the 2018 ISU World Cup Short Track in Kazakhstan on Saturday. Boutin skated a time of 1:28.974 to capture the silver medal, an identical result to her second-place finish in the distance during the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang earlier this year.
The native of Sherbrooke, Que. and lone Canadian to make it past the quarterfinals in the ladies 1000m crossed the line behind Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands, who has finished in gold medal position each time she has skated the 1000m this season.
“I am very happy with my performance today,” declared Boutin. “My goal was not necessarily to perform at the highest level or get results, but instead to return to the basics and have fun. I feel that I definitely attained that objective.”
“I had some good races, but there is still a lot that I can improve on,” she added.
The only other Canadians in medal contention during finals racing on Saturday were Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que. and Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., who finished fourth and sixth respectively in the men’s 1500m (1).
Boutin followed up her medal-winning performance by participating in the semifinals of the mixed gender and ladies relay races, helping both teams advance to tomorrow’s finals. The men’s relay team followed suit, finishing first in their semifinal to secure a spot in the finals and keep their podium hopes alive.
The ladies relay team hopes to build on their bronze medal performance at the Calgary World Cup earlier this year, while the mixed gender and men’s relays are aiming for their first top-three finishes of the season.
Other Canadian skaters in action on Saturday:
- Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.) – Second in the B finals of the men’s 1500m (1)
- Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.) – Fourth in the B finals of the ladies 1500m (1)
- Camille De Serres-Rainville Montreal, Que.) and Alison Desmarais (Vanderhoof, BC) – Sixth in their respective semifinals of the ladies 1500m (1)
- Pascal Dion (Montreal, Que.) and Charle Cournoyer (Boucherville, Que.) – First and third respectively in the B finals of the men’s 1000m
- Cédrik Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) – Penalty for skating off the track in the semifinals of the men’s 1000m
- Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) – Fifth in the quarterfinals of the ladies 1000m
Sunday will see Girard, Hamelin and C. Blais race in the men’s 500m, while De Serres-Rainville waits for teammates D. Blais and Desmarais to join her on the ladies side if they can advance via the repechage.
Dubois and Cournoyer have secured their spots in the men’s 1500m (2) semifinals, as have Boutin and Charles in the ladies event. Dion and Claudia Gagnon of Saguenay, Que. will need to pass through the repechage to join them.