June 15th, 2024

Skaters Blais, Dubois shine at final day of World Cup short track

By The Canadian Press on October 29, 2023.

MONTREAL – Canadian skaters wrapped up the final day of the ISU World Cup Short Track in Montreal on Sunday by winning three additional medals – silver in the women’s 1,000-metre and men’s 5,000-metre relays, as well as bronze in the men’s 1,500 metres – to cap off a successful weekend of competition that saw them earn seven total medals.

Danaé Blais of Châteauguay, Que., won her second medal of the competition, racing to a silver in the women’s 1000 metres. She finished the race with a final time of 1:31.471, just behind Whimin Seo of Korea (1:31.288), with Korea’s Jiyun Park taking the bronze (1:31.505).

The 24-year old Canadian also won 1,500 metres bronze on Saturday, which was the first individual distance medal of her career.

“I fell like I’m in a dream. The first weekend, my objective was to win a medal. While I came close, I was a bit disappointed. This weekend, I was a little tired and didn’t feel super well. I had the impression it wouldn’t happen this weekend either, but it turned out amazing,” said Blais.

Steven Dubois of Terrebonne, Que., picked up his first medal of the weekend in the 1,500 metres after consistent performances throughout his qualifying races. He took home the bronze with a time of 2:20.575, with Korean skaters Gun Woo Kim (2:20.294) taking the gold and Ji Won Park (2:20.406) the silver. Teammate Pascal Dion of Montreal, Que., narrowly missed the podium, finishing in fourth-place in the distance with a time of 2:20.731.

“Today, I went for the win as well. I knew my pass was a dangerous move, but it was a risk I was taking to try and get the win. I really felt I had the legs to get there,” said Dubois.

“I think I’ve been pretty good (so far this season). I’m showing that I can be in contention for the win, and I definitely raced for it today. I’m not going to give up my spot that easily, as you saw in the finals yesterday.”

Fans at the Maurice Richard Arena were treated to a pair of exciting relay finals to close out the second consecutive World Cup in Montreal.

The men’s relay team comprised of Dubois, William Dandjinou of Montreal, Jordan Pierre-Gilles of Sherbrooke, Que., and Félix Roussel of Sherbrooke, Que., raced their way to a silver medal, finishing the race with a time of 7:03.875.

The Korean team, which finished third, received a penalty for obstruction from an inactive skater after making contact with a Canadian skater during an exchange, which moved Kazakhstan (7:05.352) into the bronze-medal position. China (7:03.468) stood atop the podium with gold.

Things were equally as hectic in the women’s 3,000-metre relay final, where three of the four teams fell at different moments during the 27-lap race. After a lengthy video review, the Canadians were assessed a penalty, which helped confirm a win for Korea (4:12.133), who were joined on the podium by Netherlands (4:20.607) and United States (4:21.594).

The international short track season continues next weekend with the ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships in Laval, Que. from Nov. 4-5.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2023.

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