Kim Boutin wins 500m gold; Pascal Dion and Courtney Sarault earn 1500m silver
ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN – Canada’s short track relay teams were absolutely dominant on Sunday, winning a pair of gold medals at the ISU World Cup in Almaty on Sunday to cap off a five medal day.
Jordan Pierre-Gilles made an incredible inside pass on the Koreans in the entry of the final corner to secure the top spot for the men’s squad of Steven Dubois, Maxime Laoun and Félix Roussel. The Sherbrooke native looked to be setting up an outside pass in the final straight but quickly moved to the inside before entering the corner, surprising the Korean who was looking the opposite way.
Canada’s time of 6:56.201 placed them ahead of Korea (6:56.453) and Japan (6:57.289). It was their second consecutive gold in the relay, having also won last month in Salt Lake City.
After a pair of silver medals to start the World Cup campaign, the women’s team of Courtney Sarault, Kim Boutin, Claudia Gagnon and Rikki Doak finally struck gold, earning their first victory in the distance since December 2019 in Shanghai.
The Canadians led the 27-lap race from start to finish, fending off the Netherlands, Korea and China. A collision between the Koreans and Dutch in the final lap allowed Sarault to coast to the finish line unchallenged. After a lengthy video review, the results became official: the Canadians won in a time of 4:10.479, ahead of the Netherlands (4:16.038) and Korea (4:22.605).
Canada also won three individual distance medals on Sunday, courtesy of Kim Boutin, Pascal Dion and Courtney Sarault.
Boutin reached the top step of the 500m podium for the second time this season, gaining the lead thanks to a blazing start from position two and never giving it up. The 27-year old posted a time of 43.020 and was joined on the podium by Suzanne Schulting (43.115) and Kristen Santos-Griswold (43.254).
Dion captured his second medal of the weekend, adding bronze in the 1500m to the 1000m silver he won Saturday. He made an outside pass on teammate William Dandjinou in the final corner to claim third place. The Montreal native crossed the line in 2:20.545, behind Koreans Kyung Hwan Hong (2:20.400) and Ji Won Park (2:20.340).
And after winning gold in Saturday’s 1000m, Sarault captured silver in the women’s 1500m. The Moncton native had the lead with two laps remaining but was passed by Hanne Desmet of Belgium and couldn’t regain the top spot. Joining Desmet (2:26.692) and Sarault (2:26.752) on the podium was Germany’s Anna Seidel (2:27.036).
The ISU World Cup campaign continues next weekend with the second consecutive competition in Almaty, where Canada will look to add to their already impressive medal count this season (20). The races will be live streamed by CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports.
I am very proud of my races today. We had to restart the 500m after a fall in the opening corner and I had to change my left blade because it made contact with Suzanne’s [Schulting]. I told myself during the short break that I had to take off from the line even quicker to avoid getting our blades tangled up again. That strategy gave me the boost that I needed to win the race.Kim Boutin
We are such a versatile relay team, and each skater made an important contribution to this gold medal. I am extremely proud because we had some difficult moments last season, but our objectives, ambitions and hearts are all aligned with the common goal of bringing this team back to the top where it belongs.Kim Boutin
I’m quite happy with my 1500m today. It was a race with a lot of action, and I think that I could have been a bit more proactive to better position myself near the end of the race.Pascal Dion
I followed my instincts during that final pass. I knew the guys really wanted gold today, so I didn’t hesitate and went all in.Jordan Pierre-Gilles
- Kim Boutin: 1st
- Rikki Doak: 5th
- Danaé Blais: 8th
- Courtney Sarault: 2nd
- Claudia Gagnon: 6th
- Renée Steenge: 8th
- Maxime Laoun: 7th
- Steven Dubois: 14th
- Jordan Pierre-Gilles: 20th
- Pascal Dion: 3rd
- William Dandjinou: 4th
- Félix Roussel: 13th
- Women’s: 1st
- Men’s: 1st