Boutin, Girard close short track World Cup season with two more medals
Kim Boutin and Samuel Girard ended the 2017-18 ISU World Cup Short Track season standing on the podium in Seoul.
Boutin joined Marianne St-Gelais as an overall World Cup champion in a distance, clinching the 1000m title with her silver medal on Sunday.
There was some contact in the final corner involving Boutin, South Korean Shim Suk Hee, and Brit Elise Christie, but it was Christie who was assessed a penalty in the crash that took out Shim. Boutin ended up crossing the line behind another Korean, Choi Min Jeong, while Yara van Kerkhof of the Netherlands took the bronze.
“It was an Olympic-calibre 1000m final. The level was very high,” Boutin told Speed Skating Canada. “And I think I showed that I can challenge (the best skaters) up until the finish line. I blocked Elise until the end and I was in a position to overtake some skaters. It was a good race with a lot of situations from which I can learn and I think I can be proud of my weekend.”
Boutin had previously won 1000m silver at the first World Cup stop in Budapest and gold last week in Shanghai. Across all of the events she had a total of seven individual podium finishes this fall, including a 1500m bronze on Saturday when St-Gelais clinched the 500m World Cup title.
“It’s a nice way to finish up before the Olympic Games,” said Boutin. “I was consistent throughout these four World Cup stages. Now, I need to maintain the same level of focus until the Games.”
In a race in which the lead kept changing in the last four laps, Girard won bronze in the men’s 1000m behind Hungary’s Liu Shaolin Sandor and Korea’s Hwang Dae Heon.
“It was a tough race, everyone was looking to go out front, there was a lot of movement during the first lap,” said Girard. “There was some contact mid-race, which pushed me back to fourth place, but after that there was an opening that allowed me to move back up to third. There was no opening after that, so I’m satisfied with bronze.”
It is his third individual medal of the World Cup season, adding to the gold and silver he won in the 500m and 1000m last month in Dordrecht. In 2016, Girard won world championship silver in the 1000m.
Despite being eliminated in the heats in Seoul, the men’s 5000m relay team finished atop the season standings in that event.
This brings to an end the qualification period for PyeongChang 2018. The next step is for the ISU to announce the confirmed number of entries for each country.
Canada finished the four-stop World Cup circuit with a total of 21 medals – 16 in individual events (five gold, seven silver, four bronze) and five in the relays (two gold, one silver, two bronze) – unofficially qualifying the full team of 10 skaters for the Olympic Games.