New Brunswick’s Courtney Charlong captures bronze medal; Quebec has three skaters on the podium
NORTH RUSTICO, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND – Quebec and Ontario were dominant on the third day of 2023 Canada Winter Games short track competition, with Émanuelle Leclerc (QC) and Adam Law (ON) brining home gold in their respective 500m finals.
Émanuelle Leclerc (0:45.833) and teammate Kélian Quevillon (0:45.870) jumped to the front of the pack after the opening gun and never looked back, crossing the line in gold and silver medal position, respectively. Four Quebec skaters have now earned an individual distance medal in North Rustico, as Roselyn Pigeon and Alice Vaillancourt won gold and bronze in the Tuesday’s 1500m.
The Quebec duo were joined on the 500m women’s podium by New Brunswick’s Courtney Charlong, who was bumped up to bronze medal position following an official’s video review that saw Ontario’s Aaralyn McGill penalized for making contact with her in the entry of a corner in the third lap.
With Thursday’s bronze medal, Charlong becomes the first New Brunswick short track skater to win a Canada Winter Games medal in an individual distance since Andrew Evans, Evan Brideau and Charles Evans all reached the men’s podium at Halifax 2011.
On the men’s side, Ontario’s Adam Law (0:43.673) and Matthew Freitag (0:43.791) took the top-2 spots in an exciting 500m final, crossing the line ahead of Quebec’s Samuel Darveau (0:43.881). Law and Freitag become the first Ontario skaters to reach the short track individual distance podium at the Games since Nicolas Bean won four medals at Whitehorse 2007.
The full results from today’s races are available on GemsPro. Fans can also re-watch the races on-demand by visiting canadagames.ca/watch. The country’s top short track skaters return to North Rustico tomorrow for the 1000m finals, before ending the competition on Saturday with the 3000m points race and 3000m relays.
“The atmosphere here is great! The crowd is amazing, and this win feels really good. I started in lane three and jumped into second after the gun. The guy in front wasn’t leading that fast, so I just built speed and was patient, before passing at a good moment. After that, I was blocking in tight and waiting to cross the line. It feels great to have another Ontario skater on the podium. When we made the A Finals together, we knew it was possible. To see Matthew [Freitag] cross the line in second was a great feeling.”Adam Law (ON)
“Before the start of the race, I knew I wanted to win. My goal was to finish first and from the moment the gun went off, I gave it my all. I wanted to be in front from start to finish so that if there were any crashes or collisions I wouldn’t be impacted. At the end, I was hoping the skater behind me was going to be Kélian [Quevillon] and when I saw her cross the line I was super happy.”Émanuelle Leclerc (QC)
“It feels surreal to win a medal at the Canada Games. I’ve been dreaming about this for the past eight years while watching it on TV, and I now I finally get to experience it in person. It’s a dream come true and I’m floating on a cloud right now. I worked hard and I feel super proud of myself that I was able to win this medal. And it’s my mom’s birthday today, so I was happy to win it for her and bring back a birthday present.”Courtney Charlong (NB)
Women’s 500m Final
- Émanuelle Leclerc (QC) 0:45.833
- Kélian Quevillon (QC) 0:45.870
- Courtney Charlong (NB) 0:47.430
- Aaralyn McGill (ON) DSQ
Men’s 500m Final
- 1st Adam Law (ON) 0:43.673
- 2nd Matthew Freitag (ON) 0:43.791
- 3rd Samuel Darveau (QC) 0:43.881
- 4th Alexis Bélanger (QC) 0:43.971