AP Photo/Jens Meyer
AP Photo/Jens Meyer

Silver start for Team Canada at first short track World Cup of Olympic season

Canada didn’t have to wait long for its first medal of the short track speed skating World Cup season as Kim Boutin won silver in the very first final in Budapest, Hungary.

Boutin and Valérie Maltais had both advanced to the 1500m final, where they took an early lead ahead of reigning world champion Elise Christie of Great Britain. After some shuffling, they resumed their positions at the front of the pack as the laps ticked away and the pace quickened.

But with less than two laps to go, a couple of South Korean skaters made their move. Shim Suk Hee nudged Maltais, sending her to the ice. The two Koreans crossed the line ahead of Boutin but, after a video review, Shim was penalized for her infraction, giving Boutin the silver behind Choi Min Jeong. Deanna Lockett of Australia took the bronze. Maltais ended up in fifth place.

Marianne St-Gelais made it to the final of the 500m where she took the lead as soon as the gun sounded. But a battle with Italy’s Arianna Fontana pushed her to the back of the pack and she crossed the line in fourth place. This was St-Gelais’ only individual event of the weekend after her season got off to a slow start because of a concussion that forced her out of the national trials in August.

RELATED: Short trackers set out to secure Olympic qualification

This is the first of four World Cup stops this fall, the results of which will be used to determine PyeongChang 2018 qualification. The top three finishes for each skater in each distance will be counted towards a qualification ranking in that event. There is a maximum of three Olympic spots per country per event.