Canadian Ladies Pick Up Three Medals at World Cup in Montreal

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    Alyson Charles, Danaé Blais, Claudia Gagnon, Kim Boutin and Courtney Sarault celebrate with their bronze medals following the 3,000m ladies relay at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Montreal. Credit: Greg Kolz, Speed Skating Canada

    Make it four-for-four for Kim Boutin. The Sherbrooke native continued her winning ways on Sunday, capturing her fourth gold medal of the World Cup season in Montreal’s 500m contest. Courtney Sarault also found the podium with a silver medal in the 1000m-2, while the ladies relay team earned bronze.

    Boutin led the 500m finals for the entire race, crossing the line ahead of Italian Martina Valcepina and sprint specialist Natalia Maliszewska of Poland with a time of 42.568, a new track record for the Maurice-Richard Arena. Meanwhile, teammate Alyson Charles of Montreal skated in the same race and finished fourth.

    In her race, Sarault of Moncton, N.B. took up first position in the pack early on, and only relinquished it to gold medal winner Yu Tong Han of China in the final lap. Russian skater Ekaterina Efremenkova rounded out the podium. It was the first medal of the season for Sarault.

    Boutin and Sarault both found the podium again later in the afternoon, this time alongside teammates Alyson Charles, Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) and Claudia Gagnon (Sageunay, Que.) in the ladies relay. The Canadians earned their second consecutive bronze medal in the 3,000m discipline, behind the Chinese, who led the race from start to finish, and the Russians, who overtook second place from the home team with only six laps remaining

    The Canadian short track team is next in action from November 29 to December 1 at the World Cup in Nagoya, Japan.

    Other Notable Results:

    • Despite crossing the line first in his 1000m quarterfinal, Charles Hamelin (Saint-Julie, Que.) was penalized for an arm block at the finish line. He finished the distance ranked 17th overall.
    • Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) was penalized in the semifinals of the 500m and finished the distance ranked 9th overall.
    • Pascal Dion (Montreal, Que.) suffered a leg injury in the men’s relay on Friday which forced him to withdraw from his races on Saturday and Sunday.

    “I was a little shaken up after I nearly fell in the semi-final, but I regrouped for the finals. I raced very relaxed and am happy with my 500m result. The crowd was perfect! Each time I stepped on the ice, I had the feeling that everyone was behind me. The energy of the fans definitely gave us a little boost.”

    – Kim Boutin
    “The race was very fast and moved quick from start to finish. I’m very proud of the girls and how we skated. A bronze medal is a very good result, so I’m very happy.”

    – Claudia Gagnon
    ““In my two prior races, I took the lead and went for it. All in, that was kind of my mindset. But when I got to the final, I wanted to get a good placement and avoid going all out because someone could pass me at the end. My goal was to stay in first or second position and save my legs. It worked out for me, I just couldn’t get the gold in the end.”

    – Courtney Sarault