Boutin wins silver, Girard earns bronze at short-track World Cup

South Korea's Choi Min-jeong, center, competes against Canada's Kim Boutin, left, and South Korea's Shim Suk-hee, second from right, during the women's 1,000-meter final race at the ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating competition in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — Canada’s Kim Boutin won silver and Samuel Girard earned a bronze in the 1,000 metres on Sunday to conclude the final stage of the ISU World Cup short-track speedskating season.

Boutin, from Sherbrooke, Que, finished behind South Korea’s Min Jeong Choi. Bronze went to Dutch skater Yara van Kerkhof, ahead of South Korea’s Suk Hee Kim, who came in fourth. Britain’s Elise Christie also skated in the final.

"It was an Olympic-calibre 1,000-metre final. The level was very high," said Boutin. "And I think I showed that I can challenge (the best skaters) up until the finish line. I blocked Elise (Christie) until the end and I was in a position to overtake some skaters. It was good race, with a lot of situations from which I can learn from, and I think I can be proud of my weekend."

It was Boutin’s second medal of the weekend, after she earned bronze in Saturday’s 1,500 metres. It was also her seventh podium finish this World Cup season in individual events, her third in the 1,000 metres.

"It’s a nice way to finish up before the Olympic Games," she said. "I was consistent throughout these four World Cup stages. Now, I need to maintain the same level of focus until the Games."

Jamie Macdonald of Fort St. James, B.C., won the women’s 1,000-metre B final.

Girard, from Ferland-et-Boilleau, Que., came up with the bronze medal ahead of China’s Dajing Wu, who had to settle for fourth place. The race was won by Hungary’s Shaolin Sandor Liu while South Korea’s Dae Heon Hwang collected silver.

"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 was Girard’s third medal this season, his second in the 1,000 metres. He won silver in this distance during the second stage of the season, in Dordrecht in the Netherlands. He also came up with gold in the 500 that weekend.

Charles Hamelin from Sainte-Julie, Que., was eliminated in the men’s 1,000-metre semifinals, while Charle Cournoyer of Boucherville, Que., was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

In the relay, Boutin, Macdonald, Marianne St-Gelais of Saint-Felicien, Que., and Valerie Maltais from Saguenay, Que., allowed the women’s team to win the B final. Kasandra Bradette from Saint-Felicien, Que., also contributed to the team’s efforts over the weekend.

The men’s relay was eliminated Friday in the qualification round.

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