Rikki Doak, Jordan Pierre-Gilles, and William Dandjinou all win first career individual World Cup gold medals; Danaé Blais wins bronze in 1500m
MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Canadian skaters left their mark on the second day of ISU World Cup Short Track in Montreal, bringing home four medals, including gold from Rikki Doak, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and William Dandjonou.
Dandjinou (Montreal, Que.) gave an impressive performance in the men’s 1500m final, winning the gold medal in a tight race to the finish line against Korea’s Daeheon Hwang, the current World Cup leader. Dandjinou finished with a time of 2:21.780 to win his first individual World Cup gold. Hwang (2:21.809) took the silver, while fellow Korean Gun Woo Kim took bronze (2:21.918).
Pierre-Gilles (Sherbrooke, Que.) was victorious in the men’s 500m, winning the final with a decisive time of 40.349 and claiming his first individual World Cup gold medal. Steven Dubois (Terrebonne, Que.) was leading the race but finished in fourth place following a collision in the final lap with Shaoang Liu (China). Pierre-Gilles was joined on the podium by China’s Shaolin Liu (40.420) and Xiaojun Lin (40.580).
After strong performances in all her races leading up to the women’s 500m final, Doak (Fredericton, N.B.) captured the gold medal in front of a home crowd with a final time of 42.408. Initially finishing in second, Doak was upgraded to the gold medal after Xandra Velzeboer of the Netherlands, the current World Cup leader, received a penalty for an arm block in the corner. Dutch skater Selma Poutsma (42.734) and Italy’s Martina Valcepina (45.877) finished second and third, respectively.
The women’s 1500m final featured three Canadian skaters, Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.), Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.), and Claudia Gagnon (La Baie, Que.) with Blais ultimately capturing the bronze medal. Initially finishing in fourth place, Blais was moved up to third after Hanne Desmet (Belgium), the current World Cup leader, received a yellow card for two penalties in a single race. Blais skated a final time of 2:34.951 to win her first individual World Cup medal. Gilli Kim of Korea won the gold (2:34.588), while American Kristen Santos-Griswold took home the silver (2:34.829). Fellow Canadians Sarault finished in fourth (2:35.352) and Gagnon finished fifth (2:35.852), respectively.
Canada also qualified for the finals in both the women’s and men’s relay.
The women’s 3000m team, including Blais, Brunelle, Sarault, and Steenge, dominated the 3000m relay semifinal, finishing over a second faster than the United States with a time of 4:08.820. The men’s 5000m squad, including Dandjinou, Dion, Dubois, and Pierre-Gilles, finished second in the semifinal race, crossing the finish line 6:52.440 in just ahead of the team from Italy.
The final day of the ISU World Cup Short Track will open with the repechage races at 10:00 ET, while the main session featuring medals in the 1000m, 1500m-2, 3000m women’s relay, and 5000m men’s relay starts at 1:30pm ET. Races will be live streamed on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports.
“It was crazy! I was in third position and I felt really good. I saw the Netherlands doing a pass, so I just went out and got ahead. It is very special to be here on home ice, it makes it ten times more special because I can look up and see my family, they are my biggest supporters. I’m happy they can share this with me.”
“It’s incredible and has not completely sunken in yet! I think the circumstances also add to it as well, having my family and the crowd supporting me here in Montreal. And finishing ahead of some really exceptional skaters that I looked up to growing up. We’ll let the dust settle and enjoy it for a bit, but not too much because we’ve got another big day of races tomorrow.”
“I feel really amazing! Yesterday was a bit of a difficult day of qualifications for me. I didn’t feel at the top of my game physically, and it was also tough mentally and emotionally. It was a great challenge for me, last night and this morning, to refocus and get into the right mindset. I was not where I wanted to be in terms of my preparations for this race, but in the end I got some pretty incredible results.”
“It feels amazing. Honestly, I’ve been picturing that moment and to be able to live it in front of my family and my friends and all the team, it honestly doesn’t get better than this. I’ve been putting in a lot of work, and the team that supports me and the rest of us is unbelievable, and we have wonderful team spirit, great teammates so it really pushes us to pull out the best of each of us every day and work extremely hard with great support, so it’s really a team effort and discipline.”
- Jordan Pierre-Gilles: 1st
- Steven Dubois: 4th
- Maxime Laoun: 9th
- Rikki Doak: 1st
- Renee Steenge: 9th
- Florence Brunelle: 10th
- Danae Blais: 3rd
- Courtney Sarault: 4th
- Claudia Gagnon: 5th
- William Dandjinou: 1st
- Pascal Dion: 12th
- Felix Roussel: 16th