Team Canada gets a double podium in short track speed skating
Team Canada grabbed gold, silver and bronze medals at the short track speed skating World Cup on Sunday in Shanghai.
Kim Boutin got her second gold medal of the season, adding a 1000m victory to the one she took in the 500m on Saturday. Standing alongside her on the podium was teammate Marianne St-Gelais, who was only 0.052 behind Boutin. That medal is also the second of the weekend for St-Gelais, who won bronze in the 1500m.
“When you are two skaters from the same country in a final like was the case today, you don’t want to be in your teammate’s way, but you also don’t want to slow down just for her,” said St-Gelais. “It went well, it was a good race. I had an opportunity to overtake (Boutin) but because she was going at a fast pace and that no one behind was in a position to overtake, I didn’t try to force it. We can both be proud of what we’ve accomplished!”
The men are also bringing home a medal from Sunday’s 5000m relay. Charles Hamelin, Samuel Girard, Pascal Dion and Charle Cournoyer earned a bronze for Team Canada. Francois Hamelin had skated in earlier rounds of the event. This was Canada’s third straight medal in the event after winning gold at the first two World Cup stops.
On the 17th of 45 laps, Canadian and Chinese skaters fell, dropping Canada back to fourth place. But they came back to overtake China at the finish line and claim the bronze medal behind the gold medal-winning United States, who set a world record time, and South Korea. China was subsequently penalized by the officials.
“The South Koreans took off at a fast pace and that surprised us a little bit, but we quickly adjusted,” said Girard. “China then mishandled their handoff a little bit, which gave us an opportunity to overtake, but there was contact when they fell. By the time we were able to get back on skates, we were one lap behind. But the guys worked well together to get up to the necessary speed to finish ahead of China at the line. We got ’em!”
The World Cup circuit concludes next weekend in Seoul, South Korea. It is the last competition at which countries can earn points towards Olympic qualification.