Canadian Women’s Relay Team Wins Gold at World Cup in Shanghai

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    SHANGHAI, CHINA - DECEMBER 08: Kim Boutin, Courtney Lee Sarault, Alyson Charles and Danae Blais of team Canada celebrates after winning the Ladies 3000m Relay Final A of ISU World Cup Short Track 2019/20 at the Oriental Sports Center on December 8, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang - International Skating Union/International Skating Union via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kim Boutin; Courtney Lee Sarault; Alyson Charles; Danae Blais

    The Canadian women’s short track relay team captured the elusive gold medal they’ve been working toward for several years during on the final day of ISU World Cup action in Shanghai. Steven Dubois and Kim Boutin both earned bronze medals as well, reaching the podium in the 500m and 1000m, respectively.

    Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.), Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.), Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) and Kim Boutin (Sherbrooke, Que.) helped Canada capture gold in the women’s relay for the first time since the 2014-2015 season. It was the fourth medal of the season for the team, who won three consecutive bronze before this weekend.

    Canada (4:09.460) was in the lead for much of the race, jockeying for position with eventual silver medalists the Netherlands (4:09.810) for only a few laps prior to the last exchange. The United States (4:13.280) were upgraded from fourth to bronze after Korea was disqualified.

    After narrowly missing out on the podium with a fourth-place finish in yesterday’s 1500m, Dubois (Lachenaie, Que) redeemed himself with a bronze medal performance in the 500m-2. The 22 year old relinquished the lead during the third lap but was pushed back into a podium position after the skater from Kazakhstan fell coming out of the final turn. It was the first career medal in the distance for the Canadian record holder, whose time of 41.289 placed him behind Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu (40.722) and Korea’s June Seo Lee (40.904).

    On the women’s side, Boutin won her first bronze medal of the season in the 1000m, completing the race in 1:29.218, behind Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands (1:29.089) and Whi Min Seo of Korea (1:29.114). The Sherbrook native has earned a medal in all eight of her individual distance this season –six gold, one silver and one bronze – and is currently ranked first in the 500m, fourth in the 1000m and fifth in the 1500m.

    Other Results to Note

    • Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.) earned a first-place result in the B Final of the women’s 1000m (1:44.272), finishing the distance ranked sixth overall.
    • Despite coming first in her 500m semi-final, Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.) was penalized for an arm push which eliminated her from medal contention. She finished the distance ranked 10th overall.

    The Canadian team is back in action at the ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships from January 10-12 in Montreal, while the final two World Cups of the season will take place February 7-9 in Dresden, Germany and February 13-16 in Dordrecht, Netherlands.

    Quotes

    “The relay went very well. Before the race we had one simple objective: to give it our all on the ice. Last week in Japan we won bronze and I think each of us was able to really surpass ourselves and improve the points we needed to in order to bring home the gold this weekend.”

    – Alyson Charles
    “I raced very well, especially in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The final was a but more difficult. I took off in the lead but lost my footing and fell back a couple of positions. I still managed to win bronze, which was my first medal in the 500m. In the last World Cups, I’ve qualified for five of six A Finals, so overall I’m pretty happy with my results. ”

    – Steven Dubois
    “[My 1000m] was difficult. I lost a lot of energy making my outside pass at the start of the race. But I’m happy with how I raced while in third place. I really prevented the Chinese skaters from passing me. And for the relay, I keep saying that each race we are getting better and better. This one was an incredible race; we were solid, and we wanted to win it.”

    – Kim Boutin