LAVAL, Que. — Canadian skaters won five medals during Saturday's opening day of the ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships at Place Bell.
Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., was crowned 500-metre champion, sprinting to a gold medal in 40.149, the fastest time of the competition. His teammate, Jordan Pierre-Gilles of Sherbrooke, Que., finished a close second in 40.183, unable to outstretch Dubois with a last-ditch effort at the finish line.
Andrew Heo of the United States rounded out the podium in bronze-medal position (40.299).
The 26-year-old Dubois also reached the podium in the 1,500 metres, finishing the distance in silver-medal position. He moved into second place with an inside pass during the final lap of the race, crossing the line in 2:33.228. Korea’s Park Ji Won, the reigning World Champion in the distance, captured gold with a time of 2:33.158, while countryman Kim Gun Woo took bronze (2:33.324).
Dubois has now won a Canadian record 10 career medals at the Four Continents Short Track Championships, including five medals in 2020 and three in 2022.
You can't really ask for better than a silver medal and gold medal. We qualified for the relay final too, so a pretty perfect day overall," said Dubois.
"I've felt good physically for about two weeks now. I really focused on my tactics this year and I think that has showed in my results so far this season. I’m really happy with my first three races of this competition."
Canada also won a pair of medals in the women’s 1,500 metres, with Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., collecting silver and Danaé Blais of Châteauguay, Que., earning the bronze. American Kristen Santos-Griswold cruised past the Canadian duo with three laps remaining and coasted to a gold medal (2:26.191), ahead of Sarault (2:26.657) and Blais (2:26.765).
William Dandjinou of Montreal and Florence Brunelle of Trois-Rivières, Que., also took part in A Finals on Saturday. Dandjinou lost an edge and crashed out of the men’s 1,500-metres final to finish seventh, while Brunelle earned a sixth-place result in the women’s 500m.
The Canadian relay teams capped off the first day of competition by qualifying for their respective A Finals on Sunday after winning their semifinal races. The women’s 3,000-metres team will square off against Korea, Japan and Kazakhstan, while the men will skate against Korea, China and Kazakhstan.
The ISU Four Continents Short Track Championships come to an end Sunday, where champions will be crowned in the 1, 000- and 3,000-metre races, women's relay and 5,000 metres men's relay.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2023.
The Canadian Press