Kim Boutin, Pascal Dion and Jordan Pierre-Gilles were the top performers on the opening day of the 2021 Canadian Short Track Championships presented by Intact Insurance in Montreal, where the first of three 1500m and 500m races were contested.
Boutin came out of a crash filled women’s 1500m final unscathed to claim the top spot. The Sherbrooke native completed the distance in 2:27,426, ahead of fellow national team members Alyson Charles (2:27,725) and Camille de Serres-Rainville (2:30,502), who was elevated into a podium position after teammate Courtney Sarault, who had originally finished third, was penalized.
The 500m world record holder didn’t miss a beat in the shorter distance either, earning the top spot in her qualifier and semifinals handily, before posting a time of 0:43,525 in the finals to win it all. Charles was again a second place finisher (0:43,568), while Florence Brunelle earned the first Canadian Championships podium of her young career (0:43,699) with a third-place result.
On the men’s side, Montreal’s Pascal Dion (2:19,718) outstretched teammate Steven Dubois (2:19,749) at the finish line to take the top spot in the men’s 1500m. They were joined on the podium by William Dandjinou (2:20,307).
Reigning 1500m world champion Charles Hamelin posted the fastest time of the day in that distance at 2:11,787, but crashed during the finals and finished seventh overall.
In the 500m, Jordan Pierre-Gilles narrowly defeated Maxime Laoun (0:41,940) and Nicolas Perreault (0:42,119) to earn top honours. The Sherbrook native took advantage of a depleted field – one that saw 1500m finalists Dion, Dandjinou and Alphonse Ouimette disqualified for false starts in their respective qualifiers – to earn valuable ranking points.