Kim Boutin captured a third-place overall finish at the 2019 ISU World Short Track Championships on Sunday, skating to bronze in the 1000m and sixth in the 3000m super final to earn a cumulative total of 37 points. She then led the Canadian team back to the podium in the ladies relay.
The native of Sherbrooke, Que. sat in silver medal position for much of the 1000m final, but a small stumble coming out of the last corner allowed Korea’s Min Jeong Choi to pass Boutin at the line. Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands took the gold medal.
“In the 1000m, I really gave it my all,” said Boutin about her first medal of the day. “I tried to go for the gold, but unfortunately lost my place a bit. At the end of the day, that’s how I learn though, by pushing through right to the line.”
Schulting, Choi and Boutin finished in the same order in the ladies’ overall classification, with the new World Champion, Schulting, earning a total of 81 points over four distances. Last year’s winner, Choi, had to settle for the runner-up position with her tally of 76 points.
Boutin was already looking ahead to next season and the opportunity to improve on her third-place finish: “I was aiming to be World Champion this weekend so it’s too bad that I did not accomplish that goal,” she explained. “But I am still happy because I think that the girls who beat me are really strong and I feel close to reaching that next level. It was a powerful return for me after the Olympics and I’ll be pushing for a big season again next year.”
To cap off a bountiful World Championships, Boutin skated to a fourth medal, and another bronze, in the ladies relay final with Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.), Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.) and Camille De Serres-Rainville (Montreal, Que.). Kasandra Bradette of St. Félicien, Que. joined the team on the podium, having raced in the semi-final on Saturday.
A near-miss on an exchange early in the final placed the Canadians in fourth for much of the race, but they found themselves on the podium after Schulting fell in the final laps to dash the Netherlands’ medal hopes. Korea took the relay title while Russia captured silver.
“It’s a great finish to the weekend, winning this medal with the girls,” expressed Charles after the race. “We had specific objectives we were working on all season and I think we were ready to show everyone our progress today and it payed off. For some of us, this is our first championships so it’s great to share the experience of winning a medal together.”
On the men’s side, Samuel Girard of Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que. landed just off the podium in the overall classification, earning 29 points to finish fourth behind Korea’s Hyo Jun Lim (102 points) and Dae Heon Hwang (55 points), and Semen Elistratov of Russia (44 points).
Steven Dubois also finished in the top ten overall. The native of Lachenaie, Que. found himself in the 3000m super final in his first World Championships, placing ninth in the cumulative rankings.
Reigning World Champion Charles Hamelin (Sainte-Julie, Que.) had to settle for 18th place in the overall classification. The remaining ladies in individual contention, Sarault and Charles, ended the weekend ranked 23rd and 26th overall respectively.