Canada's Boutin adds short track individual, relay silver medals to weekend World Cup haul

Canadian speed skater Kim Boutin earned a second short track medal for the second straight weekend, winning silver in the women's 1,000 metres on Sunday in the Netherlands. The men's, women's and mixed gender relay squads also earned a quota spot for Beijing Olympics.

Men's, women's, mixed gender relay squads earn quota spot for Beijing Olympics

Canadian speed skater Kim Boutin, pictured at a recent Olympic test event in Beijing, stopped the clock in one minute 28.510 seconds to win a short track silver medal in the women's 1,000 metres on Sunday in the Netherlands. She later won relay silver in the women's 3,000 event. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Kim Boutin earned a second short track medal for the second straight weekend, winning silver in the women's 1,000 metres on Sunday in Dordrecht, Netherlands.

She reached the finish line in one minute 28.510 seconds, just behind Minjeong Choi of South Korea (1:28.417) and ahead of Suzanne Schulting (1:28.666).

"I'm very happy that I was able to regain some confidence at this distance," Boutin said in a statement released by Speed Skating Canada. "I'm happy to be on the podium."

Canada ended its Olympic qualification with 17 medals and the men's, women's and mixed gender relay teams finished the World Cup season inside the top five to earn a quota spot for the Beijing Olympics in February.

Later Sunday, Boutin added a silver medal in the women's 3,000 relay, combining with Florence Brunelle, Alyson Charles and Courtney Sarault to stop the clock in 4:06.102.

The Netherlands foursome of Suzanne Schulting, Selma Poutsma, Yara van Kerkhof and Xandra Velzeboer won in 4:05.813, with Italy's Arianna Fontana, Cynthia Mascitto, Arianna Valcepina and Martina Valcepina finishing third (4:10.251).

WATCH | Boutin a close 2nd behind Minjeong Choi in women's 1,000 metres:

Canadian Kim Boutin takes 1,000m short track silver

6 months ago
Duration 3:16
Boutin medaled for the second week in a row on the World Cup circuit, while fellow Canadian Courtney Sarault finished fourth.

"All season we have seen the Dutch dominate in the relay. We're at a point where we wanted the gold medal so badly that we are a little angry with our result," Boutin said. "We had a really good race, but I think we still need to fine-tune the timing of our exchanges and our relay order. That will be the focus for us in the coming months."

On Saturday, the 26-year-old Boutin from Sherbrooke, Que., picked up her first victory of the World Cup season, prevailing in the 500 and avenging a narrow lost to Italy's Arianna Fontana a week earlier in Hungary.

Sarault 4th in 1,000 metres

Boutin also broke the 42-second mark in Saturday's quarter-finals, with her time of 41.939 falling just shy of matching the world record of 41.936 she set in Salt Lake City in 2019.

A week ago, Boutin was third in the 500 behind second-place Fontana in a race won by Schulting and teamed with Charles, Brunelle and Sarault to place second in the women's 3,000 relay.

Sarault was fourth in Sunday's 1,000, stopping the clock in 1:29.235 at the fourth and final World Cup stop of the season.

The 21-year-old from Moncton, N.B., was fresh off a silver-medal performance in the 1,500 on Saturday.

WATCH | Sarault claims silver in women's 1,500m on Saturday:

Courtney Sarault places second in women's 1,500m World Cup Short Track

6 months ago
Duration 12:59
21-year-old Courtney Sarault earned a silver medal in the women's 1,500-metre short track competition during the World Cup stop in Dordrecht, Netherlands.

A week ago, she was second to the finish in the women's 1,000 but following video review was penalized and knocked out of medal contention for making contact during a pass. 

Canada's men's relay squad, comprised of Pascal Dion, Steven Dubois, Charles Hamelin and Maxime Laoun, wrapped up Sunday's competition with a silver medal across 5,000 metres, posting a time of 6:46.963.

The legendary Hamelin capped his World Cup medal count at 142 (58 gold, 42 silver, 42 bronze), including 84 in individual distances (37 gold, 21 silver, 26 bronze) and 58 in relay (21 gold, 21 silver, 16 bronze). He has also claimed overall individual distance titles in the 2009-10 (500 metres), 2012-13 (500) and 2013-14 (1,000 and 1,500).

'I am living in the moment'

While his time on the World Cup circuit is coming to an end after 19 seasons, the native of Sainte-Julie, Que., plans to compete at the Beijing Olympics in February and world championships in Montreal.

"I tried to breathe slowly and look around me to really soak up the energy of the competition because it was my last [World Cup race]. I know what I have accomplished at the World Cups, but I am living in the moment and focused on what I have to do," Hamelin said.

 "I think my accomplishment will really sink in when I stop skating for good."

Hamelin added his weekend performance gave him confidence and showed what he is capable of achieving at age 37.

"I am still able to compete with anyone and I can win any race," he said. "I didn't necessarily get the results I wanted in some of my races, but that's not what matters."

China's Dongwook Kim, Yoon-Gy Kwak, In Wook Park and Jang Hyuk Park was 23-1000ths of a second faster in 6:46.940 while Hungary's John-Henry Krueger, Shaoang Liu, Pietro Sighel and Shaolin Sandor Liu rounded out the podium in 6:47.076.

Select members of Canada's team will return to action at the ISU Four Continents Championships from Jan. 14 to 16 in Salt Lake City, while members of the NextGen team will compete at the Dec. 11-21 FISU Winter Universiade in Lucerne, Swizerland.

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