Canada wins three medals at speedskating world championships in South Korea

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Canada's Steven Dubois won silver in the men's 500-metre race at the world short track speedskating championships, while Pascal Dion and Kim Boutin both won bronze in their 1,500-metre races.

"I've been looking forward to winning a medal at the world championships for a long time," said Dubois. "It was one of the only things left that I wanted to accomplish as a skater, so I’m pretty stoked about it.

"Next time, I'm going for gold."

Boutin, from Sherbrooke, Que., kicked things off with a hard-fought bronze medal in the women's 1,500 metre, a race that saw six lead changes over 13 laps.

It was her third career World Championship medal in the distance, having previously captured silver in 2019 and 2022.

Boutin finished in two minutes 31.575 seconds, outstretching Belgium’s Hanne Desmet to grab the last spot on the podium by only 0.004 seconds.

Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands (2:31.349) was crowned world champion, while South Korea’s Minjeong Choi (2:31.448) took silver.

"I'm pretty proud of today's race," said Boutin. "Doing the 1,500 metres was a bit of a challenge for me because I’ve only raced it once this year at a World Cup.

"I knew I had to have keep some legs until the end and make sure I was ready for a big pass, which I managed to do."

On the men's side, a pair of penalties helped Dubois and Dion reach the podium in their respective distances.

Despite crossing the line in silver medal position of the men’s 1,500 metres, Dubois was penalized and disqualified for making contact with Dutch skater Jens van 'T Wout while making a pass midway through the race. Dion, who was narrowly edged out at the finish line for third place by Italy’s Pietro Sighel, was moved into a podium position following the call.

Korea’s Ji Won Park (2:17.792) won the title on home ice, while Sighel (2:17.898) finished second ahead of Dion (2:17.986).

It was the Montreal native's second career world championship podium in the 1,500 metre, having also captured silver on home ice last year in Montreal.

While the 1,500 metre result was no doubt disappointing for Dubois, the triple Olympic medallist got his redemption a little over an hour later, benefiting from a penalty call in the men's 500 metre final to bring home the silver medal.

The 25-year-old from Lachenaie, Que., grabbed the lead thanks to a blistering start and held that position for nearly the entire race, before being passed by China’s Lin Xiaojun and Sighel in the final turn.

Dubois crossed the finish line in third place but was later moved up to second after officials penalized the Chinese skater for not wearing his timing transponders.

As a result of the penalty, Sighel (41.166) was elevated to gold medal position, ahead of Dubois (41.223) and van 'T Wout (41.243). It marks Dubois’ first career world championship medal in an individual distance. He becomes the first Canadian to reach the 500 metre podium at the event since Charles Hamelin won bronze in 2014.

Canada also earned four top-10 results on Saturday. Rikki Doak finished fourth in the women’s 500 metres and Courtney Sarault was fifth in the women's 1,500 metre. Meanwhile, Maxime Laoun won his 500 metre B-Final to finish sixth overall, while Claudia Gagnon was ranked ninth overall after a second-place result in her 1,500 metre B-Final.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 11, 2023.

The Canadian Press