Road To The Olympic Games

Boutin skates to short track bronze in women's 500

Speed skater ​Kim Boutin will return home from the final short track World Cup event with at least one medal after capturing short track bronze in the women’s 500-metre A final on Saturday in Turin, Italy.

Canadian teammates Cédrik Blais, Steven Dubois place 3rd in men's 500, 1,500

Kim Boutin, left, of Canada, placed third in the women's 500-metre A final at the last short track World Cup event of the season in Turin, Italy, on Saturday. Poland's Natalia Maliszewska, right, finished second behind winner Martina Valcepina of Italy. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press/File)

​Kim Boutin will return home from the final short track World Cup event with at least one medal after capturing speed skating bronze in the women's 500-metre A final on Saturday in Turin, Italy.

The native of Sherbrooke, Que., stopped the clock in 44.184 seconds after being called back to the line three times to restart the race at Tazzoli Ice Rink. She had finished first in her qualifying heat on Friday in 43.720.

WATCH | Kim Boutin cross the line 3rd in Turin, Italy:

Canadian speed skater finishes 3rd at final World Cup event of the season. 2:18

"The final was a big race with lots of action," said Boutin, who had yet to earn a medal at the distance this season before Saturday. "I'm not someone who tires when I have to restart a course, so luckily I wasn't too impacted by that situation.

"The other skaters were really quick on their starts, so I had to be in good form. I'm very happy with how it turned out."

Martina Valcepina won Saturday's race in front of her home crowd in 43.942 while Poland's Natalia Maliszewska was second (43.966).

Last Saturday, Boutin won silver in the women's 1,500 in Dresden, Germany.

In the women's 3,000 relay, Boutin and teammates Kasandra Bradette, Courtney Sarault and Alyson Charles were penalized and disqualified in their heat race.

The mixed gender relay team qualified for Sunday's final after placing first in their semifinal, while the men's relay team failed to advance out of Friday's quarter-finals following a third-place finish.

In the men's 500 A final, Cédrik Blais Châteauguay, Que., was third in 1:07.939, 26 seconds behind winner Hwang Dae Heon (41.128) of Korea and Hungary's Liu Shaolin Sandor (41.225).

WATCH | Cédrik Blais reach podium after fall:

Canadian speed skater finishes 3rd at event in Turin, Italy. 1:44

Blais moved to the podium after teammate Sam Girard was penalized for a push from behind that caused his teammate to fall during the race.

"I am happy to have put myself in the final today and earned a medal, but I didn't reach the podium in the best way," Blais told Speed Skating Canada. "Sam caught on a cone in the fourth corner and passed too close to me. But that's short track. We can't always control everything in a race."

Like Boutin, Blais also reached the podium in Dresden, capturing the bronze in the men's 500 on Feb. 3 after finishing fourth the previous day in his 1,000 quarter-final.

Canada's Dubois 3rd in 1,500 A final

Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., was third in the 1,500 A final in 2;13.309, about a half-second slower to the line than the victorious Kim Gun Woo (2:12.823) who edged Korean teammate Hong Kyung Hwan (2:13.227).

WATCH | Steven Dubois reach podium in Turin, Italy:

Canadian speed skater placed 3rd at the event in Turin, Italy. 3:08

"Today, my objective was the gold medal but I am not disappointed with the bronze," said the 21-year-old Dubois, who sits second in the World Cup rankings for the 1,500. "With ten skaters in the final, it was a bit complicated but also let me execute on a good strategy. I had a great race which gives me lots of confidence on which to lean for future competitions."

Dubois recorded a fourth-place showing in the 1,500 A final on Feb. 2 in Dresden.

Canada now has 20 medals from World Cup action this season as eight different athletes and all three relay teams have reached the podium since November.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Montreal's Camille de Serres-Rainville was sixth in the women's 1,500 B final in 2:38.702.

This week's competition is the last chance for Canadian skaters to fine tune their racing ahead of the world championships in March at Sofia, Bulgaria.

Other Canadian results on Saturday:

  • Camille De Serres-Rainville, Montreal — Sixth in the women's 1,500 B final
  • Charle Cournoyer, Boucherville, Que. — Fifth in the men's 500 semifinal
  • Kasandra Bradette, St. Félicien, Que. — Penalized in the women's 500 semifinal
  • Courtney Sarault, Moncton and Charles Hamelin, Sainte-Julie, Que. — Penalized in their respective 1,500 semifinals
  • Claudia Gagnon, Saguenay, Que. — Fourth in the women's 1,500 repechage semifinal

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