The ladies of the Canadian short track speed skating team shone bright on Sunday, earning three well-deserved medals at the ISU World Cup Short Track in Nagoya.
In the ladies’ 500m final, Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.) took the lead off the start line and never looked back. She skated a clean race to stop the clock in 43.374 ahead of Italy’s Arianna Fontana and Ji Yoo Kim of Korea. Boutin has won all three 500m contests in which she has participated this season and now tops the World Cup rankings for the distance.
“It was certainly an interesting final. I really wanted to go out in front and control the race, and to finish strong. That’s what I was able to do today, so I am happy. Our team is also becoming must stronger in the relay. In the final, we showed that strength from the beginning through to the end, so I’m very proud of what we accomplished.”
Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.) also led much of the ladies’ 1500m (2) final but relinquished first position to Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands mid-way through the race. Sarault closely followed the eventual gold medal winner for the remaining laps, avoiding pass attempts by China’s Yu Tong Han to finish in 2:30.976. This is Sarault’s second individual medal of the season, having captured silver in the 1000m on home ice in Montreal.
“Yesterday, I got a penalty in the 1000m. I took the time to reflect on that and today I came in with a really good mindset and knew how to avoid getting panicked in my race. Staying calm really paid off today. I wanted the gold in the final, but I put up a good fight so I’m proud of myself.”
Skating in the ladies’ relay final later Sunday afternoon, Boutin and Sarault joined teammates Danaé Blais and Alyson Charles on their way to a silver medal. The Canadians took a promising lead with thirteen laps remaining but ended up crossing the finish line in third position. Following a Korean penalty handed out after the race, Canada’s medal colour was upgraded. Italy (gold) and Russian (bronze) also stood on the podium.
Other Results to Note
- Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) participated in her second 1500m A Final in as many days, moving up a spot from yesterday’s finish by crossing the line in fourth position. It is a career-best result for the young skater.
- Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) was well-positioned for a podium finish in the men’s 1500m (2) when a crash in the final corner took him out of contention. He ended the day placed seventh in the distance.
- Skating in the B Final of their respective 500m events, Rikki Doak (Fredericton, N.B.) and Jordan Pierre-Gilles (Sherbrooke, Que.) each earned seventh place finishes, the best result achieved by both skaters to date.
- The Canadian men’s and mixed gender relays failed to qualify for Sunday’s finals.
The ISU World Cup Short Track circuit continues next weekend, December 6-8, in Shanghai, China.