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- Canadian speed skater
Kim Boutin avenged a narrow loss to speed skating opponent Arianna Fontana a week ago, capturing the women's 500-metre short track race on Saturday for her first gold medal of the season at the fourth and final World Cup stop in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
The 26-year-old from Sherbrooke, Que., crossed the finish line in 42.464 seconds to defeat Fontana of Italy (42.756) and Russia's Elena Seregina (42.792).
Boutin broke the 42-second mark in the quarter-finals, with her time of 41.939 falling just shy of matching the world record of 41.936 she set in Salt Lake City in 2019.
WATCH | Boutin wins women's 500m short track race at World Cup event:
"I am really happy with my result today," Boutin said. "I was three one-thousandths of a second off my world record, which was unexpected. I was surprised to skate 41.9 on this ice, especially since I didn't feel super sharp in my preliminary races on Thursday.
"This gold medal performance confirms to me that I still have speed and that I am very strong. In my opinion, I'm one of the most explosive skaters in the 500 and I'm really happy with where I am at."
Last week, Boutin was third behind second-place Fontana in a race won by Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands in Debrecen, Hungary.
She also teamed with Alyson Charles, Florence Brunelle and Courtney Sarault to place second in the women's 3,000 relay.
On Saturday, the 21-year-old Sarault made sure her second-place finish in individual action would count, picking up a silver medal in the women's 1,500.
WATCH | Sarault claims silver in women's 1,500m:
Goal of top 2 entering final laps
A week ago, the Moncton, N.B., native was second to the finish in the women's 1,000 but following video review was penalized and knocked out of medal contention for making contact during a pass.
She stopped the clock in two minutes 22.043 seconds on Saturday, trailing only Lee Yu-bin of South Korea (2:21.931). Dutch skater Schulting gave the crowd something to cheer about with her third-place finish in 2:22.075.
"I knew there would be a lot of chaos in the back of the race, and I got stuck in that spot last weekend, so my goal today was to be in the top 2 going into the final laps," Sarault said.
On the men's side, Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., was outraced by China's Dajing Wu and finished second in the men's 500 on Saturday for his first individual medal of the season. Wu clocked 39.878 and Dubois 40.023 after placing fifth in the men's 1,500 earlier in the day.
WATCH | Dubois wins silver in men's 500m World Cup short track:
"I knew I was capable of winning but having the result under my belt will give me a good boost for what is to come," Dubois said.
Dubois was joined atop the podium last Sunday in the 5,000 relay by Pascal Dion, Jordan-Pierre Gilles and Charles Hamelin.
This weekend's event is the last chance for Canadian skaters to secure Olympic entries for their country and build their personal case for being selected to compete in Beijing in February.
Action concludes Sunday with the finals in the 1,000 along with the men's, women's and mixed gender relays.