It was an extremely successful Saturday for Canada’s short track speed skaters, with five medals in four finals at the season’s second World Cup stop in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Marianne St-Gelais and Kim Boutin gave Canada a gold-silver finish in the women’s 500m. The teammates jumped out to the early lead and controlled the race throughout. After Dutch skater Yara van Kerkhof clipped a lane blocker and fell, it was smooth sailing to the finish ahead of Italian Martina Valcepina. The gold is St-Gelais’ first individual podium of the year, while Boutin adds to the pair of individual silvers she won last week in Budapest.
Samuel Girard also delivered a gold medal in the men’s 500m for his first individual podium of this World Cup campaign. He too assumed the lead from the start, never letting anyone get by him. He got to the line ahead of Dutchman Sjinkie Knegt and Korean Hwang Dae Heon.
Valérie Maltais had gotten the day going with her first individual World Cup medal of the season, taking silver in the women’s 1500m. She was sandwiched on the podium between two Koreans, gold medallist Choi Min Jeong and bronze medallist Shim Suk Hee. Canada had qualified three women to the final, but as the race played out, Boutin and Jamie Macdonald ended up finishing fifth and sixth.
Charles Hamelin also earned his first individual medal of the season, taking bronze in the men’s 1500m. Girard had also advanced to the final and was battling for second place as the bell sounded for the final lap. There was some bumping and after a lengthy video review, it was Girard who was penalized.
Sunday’s competition will feature the 1000m and the finals for both relays as Canada continues to pursue qualifying the maximum number of Olympic berths for PyeongChang 2018.