Kim Boutin remains undefeated in the 500m this season after winning her fourth gold medal in the distance at the World Cup in Shanghai on Saturday. Courtney Sarault also reached the podium for Canada, winning bronze in the 1500m.
“I was a little nervous during the race. I took off quickly and soon realized that there was a large gap [between me and the skaters] and that can be stressful because they are coming with lots of speed. I don’t think I skated the last two laps very well, however it’s tough to come back and win another gold medal so I would say ‘mission accomplished’ for me here today.”
Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.) shook off a false start and cruised to victory with a time of 42.845, ahead of Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands (42.877) and Martina Valcepina of Italy (42.971). The 500m world record holder – a mark she established earlier this season in Salt Lake City – has earned a medal in all seven of her individual distances so far this season, winning six gold and one silver.
Meanwhile, Sarault won her third individual medal of the season, posting a time of 2:25.395 to bring home bronze in the 1500m. The 19 year old Moncton native, who won silver in the same distance last weekend in Nagoya, was joined on the podium by Korean’s Alang Kim (2:25.066) and Min Jeong Choi (2:25.269). Sarault was able to hold off a field of eight skaters in the finals to reach the podium, which is even more impressive considering she raced 11 laps of semi-final before it was restarted due to a crash.
“I’m pretty excited with how my results are going so far this season. I’m still getting penalties here and there, but I’m really proud of how I’m racing. In my semi we had to redo the race, which is hard both mentally and physically, especially in the 1500m, but I just tried to ignore that and focused on ways to race smart so that I could come out on top.”
Other Results to Note
- Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que) and Pascal Dion (Montreal, Que.) finished just off the podium in the men’s 1500m, earning fourth and fifth place results, respectively. It was Dion’s first A Final and best result of the season to date.
- The mixed gender relay team was penalized for an illegal relay during the A Final after Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.) lost an edge and fell with eight laps remaining. Only the gold and silver medals were handed out as the United States team were penalized for the same reason.
- The women’s relay team finished atop their semi-final and will skate for a medal tomorrow. The men’s relay team failed to advance out of Friday’s quarterfinals.
The World Cup in Shanghai concludes Sunday, where medals will be handed out for the 500m-2, 1000m, and both the men’s and women’s relays.
“I’m really happy with my result today. It was my best race and my best result of the season. I’ve been trying different things strategies since the start of the season and they weren’t working too well, but today I was able to find the right combination of strategy and technique. I knew I was capable of getting results, but nothing was panning out, so this is promising for the rest of the season.”