Canada’s Kim Boutin wins 500-metre for fourth World Cup gold of season

Canada's Kim Boutin waves to the crowd after winning the gold medal in the women 500 metre final at the ISU World Cup Short Track competition in Montreal on Sunday, November 10, 2019. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

MONTREAL — Canada’s Kim Boutin finished first in the women’s 500-metre at the ISU short-track World Cup on Sunday for her fourth gold medal of the season.

Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., took silver in the 1,000 while the Canadian women’s relay team won bronze.

Boutin, from Sherbrooke, Que., led the 500 from start to finish and never looked appeared to be threatened as she crossed the finish line in 42.568 seconds — a new track record at Montreal’s Maurice Richard Arena.

Italy’s Martina Valcepina won silver in 42.659 while Poland’s Natalia Maliszewska came in third in 42.779. Montreal’s Alyson Charles narrowly missed a podium spot, finishing fourth in 42.996.

The first-place finish capped a perfect weekend for the 24-year-old Boutin, who won gold in the 1,000 on Saturday. Boutin also won gold medals in the 500 and 1,500 in the season-opening World Cup in Salt Lake City, Utah, last week.

Boutin won five individual medals in all of last year’s World Cup season.

The 19-year-old Sarault, a rising star in Canada’s short-track outfit, looked destined for gold in the 1,000.

The Canadian teen led the race with four laps remaining, holding off Russia’s Ekaterina Efremenkova before China’s Han Yu Tong skated past her on the final half-lap.

Tong crossed the finish line in 1:30.712, with Sarault close behind at 1:30.959 and Efremenkova at 1:31.125.

The women’s relay team — Boutin, Sarault, Charles and Danae Blais — finished third behind China and Russia.

The Canadian men did not have the same success as the women, failing to reach a final in front of the hometown crowd.

Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., was disqualified in the 500 semifinal for an improper lane change on the very first lap. The 22-year-old chose to be aggressive from the starting gun but the strategy backfired.

Hungary’s Liu Shaolin Sandor went on to claim gold in the men’s 500 final, upsetting Korea’s Hwang Dae Heon.

It was another short day for veteran speedskater Charles Hamelin, who did not advance past the men’s 1,000 quarterfinal in his only race of the afternoon.

The 35-year-old Hamelin finished second in a photo finish ahead of Korea’s Kim Dong Wook but race officials handed the Ste-Julie, Que., native an arm block penalty at the finish.

The five-time Olympic medallist fell in Saturday’s 1,500 semifinal after stepping on a block.

Notes: The Canadian men’s relay team failed to advance past the quarterfinal. ¦ Nagoya, Japan, will host the next World Cup short-track event on Nov. 29.

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