Canadians win 3 medals at short track world championships

Steven Dubois skated to a silver medal at the short track speed skating world championships in Seoul on Saturday. (Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press/File - image credit)
Steven Dubois skated to a silver medal at the short track speed skating world championships in Seoul on Saturday. (Rick Bowmer/The Associated Press/File - image credit)

Canada's Steven Dubois, Pascal Dion, and Kim Boutin collected medals on the opening day of the short track speed skating world championships in Seoul, South Korea on Saturday.

Dubois, of Terrebonne, Que., finished the men's 500-metre final in 41.223 seconds, taking silver behind gold-medal winner Pietro Sighel of Italy (41.166).

In the men's 1,500, Montreal's Pascal Dion skated to a bronze medal in a time of 2:17.986. Park Ji Won of South Korea took gold in 2:17.792, while Sighel (2:17.898) rounded out the podium in second place.

WATCH | Dubois claims silver in men's 500m:

Kim Boutin, of Sherbrooke, Que., also collected a bronze medal in the 1,500 distance, a race that included six lead changes over 13 laps.

She executed a double inside pass with two laps remaining to overtake Canadian teammate Courtney Sarault and American Kristen Santos-Griswold and move into third place. At the finish line, Boutin (2:31.575) outstretched Belgium's Hanne Desmet (2:31.579), who took a wide, outside line exiting the final corner, to grab the last spot on the podium by only 0.004 seconds.

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

WATCH | Boutin skates to bronze in Seoul:

Boutin reached the finish behind winner Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands (2:31.349) and South Korea's Choi Minjeong (2:31.448) for her third career world championship medal in the distance.

She previously captured silver in 2019 and 2022.

"It's the first year of the Olympic quad and we have been trying some new things during the season," Boutin added, "so it's really nice to win a medal at the world championships."

Dubois DQ'd in men's 1,500

Sarault, from Moncton, N.B., finished in 2:31.785, good for a fifth-place result.

A little over one hour before the men's 500, Dubois was penalized and disqualified for making contact with Dutch skater Jens van 'T Wout while making a pass midway through the 1,500 race.

Winning [a world medal] was one of the only things left I wanted to accomplish as a skater, so I'm pretty stoked about it. Next time, I'm going for gold. — Canadian triple Olympic medallist Steven Dubois

In the 500, the 25-year-old Dubois grabbed the lead with a blistering start and held that position for nearly the entire race before China's Lin Xiaojun and Italy's Sighel passed him in the final turn. He was later moved up to second place after officials penalized the Chinese skater for not wearing his timing transponders.

"I knew the ice was a little sketchy, so I felt I had to be fast while remaining alert to the guys behind me," Dubois said. "I saw [Lin] coming in fast, so I knew I had to go in super tight. He tried to pass me from the outside and I blocked him as much as I could, but that caused me to lose a bit of speed at the end.

"I've been looking forward to winning a medal at the world championships for a long time. 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."

Sighel (41.166) was elevated to gold ahead of Dubois (41.223) and van 'T Wout of the Netherlands (41.243). It marked Dubois's first career world medal in an individual distance. The triple Olympic medallist becomes the first Canadian to reach the 500 podium at the event since Charles Hamelin won bronze in 2014.

Dion, who was narrowly edged out at the finish line for third place by Italy's Pietro Sighel in the 1,500, was moved into a podium position following the penalty on Dubois.

WATCH | Dion moves up to bronze-medal position in 1,500m:

"It was a pretty exciting race and I felt that I raced it well," Dion said. "I was in the top two most of the race and made some quick outside passes to keep my position. … To win a world championship medal two years in a row means a lot."

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 marked the Montreal native's second career World Championship podium in the 1500m, having also captured silver on home ice last year in Montreal.

Canada earned four other top-10 results on Saturday, with Rikki Doak (fourth in women's 500) and Sarault leading the way. Maxime Laoun won his 500 B final for sixth while Claudia Gagnon was ranked ninth overall after a second-place result in her 1,500 B final.

Other Canadian results

Women's 500 metres: Kim Boutin (9th), Renee Steenge (27th)

Women's 1,500: Claudia Gagnon (9th)

Men's 500: Maxime Laoun (6th), Felix Roussel (21st)

Men's 1,500: Steven Dubois (8th), Jordan Pierre-Gilles (26th)

Action continues Sunday featuring the men's and women's 1,000, 2,000 mixed relay, 3,000 women's relay and 5,000 men's relay. Watch live on or the CBC Sports app beginning at 12 a.m. ET.