Short Track World Championships | The Kim Boutin show

“It makes me thirsty, all that! said Kim Boutin on Saturday night after winning two silver medals in front of a very enthusiastic Montreal crowd at the World Short Track Championships. “It gives me the desire to continue and to seek a little more. The Sherbrooke resident is obviously not satisfied, she who could be crowned world champion in the aggregate, this Sunday.

Posted at 2:39 p.m.
Updated at 7:57 p.m.

Catherine Harvey Pinard

Catherine Harvey Pinard
The Press

Aréna Maurice-Richard was packed for the first time in almost three years. Before each of his races, Boutin showed the biggest of smiles as he greeted the spectators, who applauded him warmly.

The skater from Estrie seemed in great shape. She distinguished herself with a second place in the two individual distances of the day, the 1500m and the 500m.

Honestly, the crowd makes me feel good. That’s why we do this. It’s not to skate for us and be in our little cocoon all the time. It feels good to share our sport.

Kim Boutin

In the 1500m final, Boutin was overtaken in the final laps by Korea’s Minjeong Choi, the reigning Olympic champion in this distance. It was another Korean, Whimin Seo, who took third place on the podium.

“I raced it like I know how to do,” said Boutin. To win now, I will have to use more strategy. »

In the 500m, Boutin had the door wide open in the absence of Choi, who had not qualified for the final. The Dutch Xandra Velzeboer, however, played the spoilsport by beating the Quebecer with two laps to go.

Boutin, whose favorite distance it is, would have liked the gold. But the 27-year-old skater sees this as an opportunity to learn more.

“This is where I am, right now. It’s learning to race when you know you have the ability to win, she explained. It’s seeing what it takes for me to win with that pressure. »

With these two results, the title of world champion is within reach of Kim Boutin. She currently sits first overall with three points ahead of Minjeong Choi. Everything will be decided this Sunday, in the 1000 m.


PHOTO ERIC BOLTE, USA TODAY SPORTS

Kim Boutin

I will concentrate on what I have to do and all the better if I finish first. I’ll be happy, but it’s going to be to take it one step at a time. Because I’m still learning all this.

Kim Boutin

New Brunswick’s Courtney Sarault failed to defend her title of vice-world champion in the 1,500 metres. She took fourth place.

A first for Dion

As he crossed the 1,500m finish line in second place, Pascal Dion threw his arms up in the air as he watched the crowd. The Montrealer had just won his first career individual World Championship medal.

“I knew I was able to get one if I skated well,” he said in an interview several hours after the race.

Hungarian Shaoang Liu beat him in the last two laps to take the gold. It was the Belgian Stijn Desmet who inherited the bronze medal.

Dion, 27, had a stellar World Cup season, collecting five individual medals and being crowned champion in the 1,000m. At the Beijing Olympics, things went less well: he finished 12and in the 1000 m and 18and at 1500m. But he was able to bounce back this weekend.


PHOTO GRAHAM HUGHES, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Pascal Dion (front) took 2and rank at 1500 meters.

It feels good to prove that it was not luck this year, and that I really have my place among the best.

Pascal Dion

In the 500m, the Quebecer finished in first place in the B final. If all goes well in the 1000m, this Sunday, he could be crowned vice-world champion in the cumulative ranking. He currently sits tied with Desmet, while Liu has a head start at No. 1.

“The motivation is sure to be there, assured Dion. I will give it my all [dimanche] to try to keep my position and get more. »

Triple Olympic medalist Steven Dubois did not have the expected day. With three laps to go in the 1500m semi-final, his blade got stuck in the rink, causing him to lose his footing. In the 500m semi-final, the native of Terrebonne took the start in the 4and lane and was unable to outpace the three skaters in front of him. He had to settle for a B final, where he finished third.

“It’s disappointing because it’s not the result I wanted, but I did my best and there was nothing more I could do,” Dubois said.

We were treated to an emotional moment during the quarter-finals of the men’s 500m: the Montreal crowd gave a long standing ovation to Ukrainian skater Oleh Handei. The Kyiv native put his hand to his heart, probably emotional. In the stands, a Ukrainian supporter proudly displayed his big yellow and blue flag.

An A final for Hamelin

Both Canadian teams did well in the semi-finals of their respective relays, earning their place in the A final. six-time Olympic medalist will bid farewell to sport.

Already on Saturday, during the semi-final, the one commonly nicknamed the Locomotive of Sainte-Julie was applauded for a long time.


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Charles Hamelin

It was truly magical. I had shivers during the first exchanges, then I got back into my bubble.

Charles Hamelin

The 37-year-old skater could land his 38and and last career World Championship medal.

The quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of the 1000m, for both women and men, will also take place this Sunday.

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