Dubois reaches podium in 500m and 1500m; Courney Sarault, Jordan Pierre-Gilles and Danaé Blais also win individual distance medals
LAVAL, QUEBEC – Canadian skaters won an impressive five medals during the opening day of the ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships in Laval, treating fans in attendance at this first-ever international event at Place Bell to memorable afternoon of racing.
Steven Dubois (Lachenaie, Que.) was crowned 500m champion on Saturday, sprinting to a gold medal in 40.149, the fastest time of the competition. His teammate Jordan Pierre-Gilles (Sherbrooke, Que.) finished a close second in 40.183, unable to outstretch Dubois with a last-ditch effort at the finish line. Andrew Heo of the United States rounded out the podium in bronze medal position (40.299).
The 26-year-old Dubois also reached the podium in the 1500m, finishing the distance in silver medal position. He moved into second place with a beautiful inside pass during the final lap of the race, crossing the line in 2:33.228. Korea’s Park Ji Won, the reigning World Champion in the distance, captured gold with a time of 2:33.158, while countryman Kim Gun Woo took bronze (2:33.324).
Dubois has now captured a Canadian record 10 career medals at the Four Continents Short Track Championships, including five medals in 2020 and three in 2022.
Canada also won a pair of medals in the women’s 1500m, with Courtney Sarault (Moncton, N.B.) capturing silver and Danaé Blais (Châteauguay, Que.) bringing home bronze. American Kristen Santos-Griswold cruised past the Canadian duo with three laps remaining and coasted to a gold medal (2:26.191), ahead of Sarault (2:26.657) and Blais (2:26.765).
William Dandjinou (Montreal, Que.) and Florence Brunelle (Trois-Rivières, Que.) also took part in A Finals on Saturday. Dandjinou lost an edge and crashed out of the men’s 1500m final to finish seventh, while Brunelle earned a sixth-place result in the women’s 500m.
The Canadian relay teams capped off the first day of competition by qualifying for their respective A Finals on Sunday after winning their semifinal races. The women’s 3000m team will face-off against Korea, Japan and Kazakhstan, while the men will skate against Korea, China and Kazakhstan.
The ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships come to an end on Sunday, where champions will be crowned in the 1000m, 3000m women’s relay and 5000m men’s relay. The races will be live streamed on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sport. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office or by visiting laval.courtepiste.ca.
“You can’t really ask for better than a silver and gold medal. We qualified for the relay final too, so a pretty perfect day overall. I’ve felt good physically for about two weeks now. I really focused on my tactics this year and I think that showed in my results so far this season. I’m really happy with my first three races of this competition.”
“I am extremely happy with my result. I felt good since the start of the day. I had good times and that gave me a start from lane number three in the finals. It was a very fast race. I knew Steven would go out very quickly, so I tried to quickly position myself well, but it was hard to catch up to him. I really gave it my all and came close at the finihs line.”
“It’s definitely been a lot, both mentally and physically, especially because I didn’t really get the results I was looking for the first two weekends. I tried to bounce back and not get into my head too much this for this competition. I just want to have fun with it and give it everything I can. I’m pretty happy with my silver medal. I would have loved to hold onto the gold that I got at this event last season, but Kristen [Santos-Griswold] is really strong, so I’m still happy with the silver.”
- Florence Brunelle: 5th
- Courtney Sarault: 10th
- Karina Montminy: 13th
- Steven Dubois: 1st
- Jordan Pierre-Gilles: 2nd
- William Dandjinou: 6th
- Courtney Sarault: 2nd
- Danaé Blais: 3rd
- Karina Montminy: 19th
- Steven Dubois: 2nd
- William Dandjinou: 7th
- William Sohier: 8th