The Canadian short track speed skating team dominated the top step of the podium on Saturday in Dresden, winning gold in three of the four finals on the schedule, as the World Cup circuit resumed after a six week break.
Kim Boutin got the party started in the women’s 1500m, outracing Rianne de Vries of the Netherlands and Great Britain’s Charlotte Gilmartin. This is the first career World Cup gold medal for Boutin in an individual event. Her previous best was a silver, also in the 1500m, on home ice in Montreal last season. The longest individual distance is proving to be a strong event for the 22-year-old. Her only other individual medal this season was a bronze in the 1500m at the Olympic test event in mid-December.
The men then got on the ice for their 1500m. Canada had two of the six finalists and Charles Hamelin came through for his second gold medal of the season, adding to his 1000m victory at the Olympic test event. It is his first podium of the season in the 1500m, in which he is the reigning Olympic champion. Canada just missed out on having a double podium finish, with Samuel Girard edged out by Russia’s Alexander Shulginov by five one-hundredths (0.05) of a second. South Korea’s Kyung Hwan Hong won the silver.
The Canadian women were able to produce a double podium in the next race, the 1000m. Marianne St-Gelais, who’s had success in all distances this season, took the gold for her second win and seventh individual podium finish of the year. Valerie Maltais took the bronze, less than a tenth of a second behind Dutchwoman Suzanne Schulting. That is Maltais’ first podium finish of the season.
There will be more racing on Sunday, featuring a second 1500m, the 500m, and relays for both genders.