Canadian Olympic champions skate to men's 5,000m relay gold at short track World Cup
Women's relay team earns silver; Courtney Sarault, Rikki Doak also reach podium
Canada's men's 5,000-metre relay team that won the Olympic title in February captured the gold medal in the event on Sunday at the short track World Cup stop in Salt Lake City, returning to the top spot of the podium for the first time since Beijing.
The Canadian squad, consisting of Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., Jordan Pierre-Gilles of Sherbrooke, Que., and Montreal's Pascal Dion and Maxine Laoun, took the lead with 11 laps to go and held on to cross the finish line with a time of six minutes 35.847 seconds.
Silver medallists South Korea were 0.692 seconds slower than the Canadians. The Chinese team completed the podium with a time of 6:37.054.
"It really wasn't a great day for any of the boys on an individual level, so it was clear that we needed to redeem ourselves in the relay," Pierre-Gilles said. "It made for a exciting end to the competition and I am looking forward to the next World Cups."
WATCH l Canada strikes gold in men's 5,000m relay:
Canada also made it to the podium in the women's event.
Kim Boutin, Danaé Blais, Courtney Sarault and Renee Steenge came just 0.121 seconds shy of South Korea's title-winning time to settle for silver — their second of the season.
Italy finished third with a time of 4:05.538.
WATCH l Canada grabs 2nd relay medal of the day with women's silver:
The relay medals were Canada's third and fourth of the day.
Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands skated the distance in 1:28.241, edging Sarault by just 0.05 seconds. American Kristen Santos-Griswold was third (1:32.965).
"I'm super happy about my performance today," the 22-year-old Sarault said. "I decided to stop doubting myself and just go for it, and it payed off. It feels great to be back on the podium."
WATCH l Courtney Sarault secures 1st World Cup medal of season:
Fredericton's Rikki Doak also reached the podium in Salt Lake City with a bronze medal in the women's 500m race.
The 24-year old edged fellow Canadian Blais by just 0.008 seconds. Blais finished fourth, a career-high result, for the second World Cup stop in a row, having finished just outside of the podium in Montreal last weekend.
"I was aggressive until the very end and am so happy to win my first individual distance medal," said Doak.
South Korea's Minjeong Choi earned gold with a time of 42.384. Xandra Velzeboer of the Netherlands raced the distance in 41.602 seconds to round out the podium.
WATCH l Rikki Doak races to women's 500m bronze:
Canada has won 12 medals after two World Cup stops.
The competition will return in December in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for back-to-back rounds (Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-18) before returning in 2023 for stops in Dresden, Germany, in February, and Dordrecht, Netherlands, in March.