Both Kim Boutin and Steven Dubois capped off a perfect weekend at the 2019 Canadian Short Track Championships presented by Intact Insurance, capturing gold in their final two distances on Sunday to earn the title of national champions.
This weekend’s competition saw participants skate each of the distances (500m, 1000m, 1500m) twice, with Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que. and Dubois of Lachenaie, Que. collecting the most points based on the combined results of their top two distances to capture the overall title.
Those two skaters, along with Montreal natives Pascal Dion, Maxime Laoun, Alyson Charles; siblings Cédrik and Danaé Blais of Châteauguay, Que; and Moncton’s Courtney Sarault, secured spots in the racing pool for the 2019-20 season, from which Canada’s team for the ISU World Cups and World Championships will be selected.
They will be joined by four additional skaters per gender, to be determined based on the adjusted Canadian Championship rankings after all bye requests have been evaluated. Each gender will also have one discretionary selection, based on the recommendation of the national team coaches. The complete racing pool will be announced in the coming weeks.
“I started fifth on the line and I knew it was going to come together near the end of the race for me. I was patient and there were some falls ahead of me, so I took my opportunity. I am very happy.”
On Sunday, Boutin claimed gold in the women’s 500m-2 (43.608) to start the day, ahead of Sarault (44.087) and Claudia Gagnon of Saguenay, Que. (44.246), who won her first medal of the competition. She followed that up with gold in the 1000m-2 (1:33.503), with Charles (1:33.583) and Rikki Doak of Fredericton, N.B. (1:33.645) rounding out the podium.
“I’m very happy with what I accomplished this weekend. It was a tough summer for me, so I wanted to come back to the ice and put forth performances like those. I find the girls are really pushing and challenging me during training. They are already at an international caliber and it makes me want to better myself. I’m happy that I won it all and I really enjoyed having a challenge in each one of my races.”
Dubois cruised to gold in both the men’s 500m-2 (41,029) and 1000m-2 (1:31.379). Cédrik Blais (41.166) and Laoun (41.360) were medalists in the 500m, while Dion (1:31.406) and Sébastien Gagnon of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Que. (1:31.675) reached the podium in the 1000m.
“I knew I had strong chances of winning if I kept the same approach the whole time. My goal was to stay relaxed and rest when others were leading the pack. I am very happy with what I accomplished. I’ve won on the national stage, now all that’s left to do is win on the international stage.”
The weekend’s top medal winners, outside of Boutin and Dubois who claimed six golds apiece, were Dion (4), C. Blais (3), Laoun (3), Dandjinou (1) and S. Gagnon (1) on the men’s side; and Sarault (3), Charles (3), D. Blais (2), Doak (2) and C. Gagnon (1) on the women’s side.