Canadian women's relay squad races to World Cup short track silver medal in Germany

The women's relay team earned Canada's lone medal Sunday at the World Cup short track event in Dresden, Germany. Courtney Sarault, Kim Boutin, Rikki Doak and Renee Steenge were a close second to the Netherlands in the 3,000 metres.

Courtney Sarault, Kim Boutin, Rikki Doak, Renee Steenge clock 4:07.768 over 3,000m

Two women's speed skating athletes in Canada gear hold hands while smiling and cruising in the track.
Canada's women's relay team won a silver medal in short track World Cup action on Sunday, posting a time of four minutes 7.768 seconds over 3,000 metres in Dresden, Germany. (International Skating Union)

The women's relay team earned Canada's lone medal Sunday at a World Cup short-track event in Dresden, Germany.

Engaged in a heated battle with their rivals from the Netherlands for the duration of the 3,000-metre race, Courtney Sarault of Moncton, N.B., Kim Boutin of Sherbrooke, Que., Fredericton's Rikki Doak and Renee Steenge of Brampton, Ont., were unable to overtake the reigning Olympic champions, settling for hard-earned silver.

The Dutch (4:07.531) took lead from the Canadians (4:07.768) with eight laps remaining and never looked back, with Xandra Velzeboer successfully defending a pass attempt from Boutin after the final exchange to secure the top spot in four minutes 7.531 seconds.

Canada reached the finish in 4:07.768 for its fifth podium finish of the season (one gold, four silver) while the bronze medal went to Korea (4:08.238).

WATCH | Canada captures relay silver in women's 3,000 metres:

Canada captures silver in short track World Cup relay

2 months ago
Duration 7:26
The Canadian crew of Kim Boutin, Rikki Doak, Courtney Sarault and Renée Marie Steenge clocked in at 4:07.768 to place 2nd in the women's 3,000-metre relay event during day 2 of the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup stop in Dresden, Germany.

"Going into the final we knew it was going to be a good race and we were ready for it. There were a lot of small passes and blocks throughout the race, as well as change of speed which made it exciting and more tactical," Steenge told Speed Skating Canada.

"During the middle of the race, a small gap was created and then it was just a battle of speed and good exchanges after that. The last World Cup will be exciting with Canada, Netherlands and Korea all tied with 340 points in the rankings."

Meanwihle, it was a heartbreaking 5,000 final for the men's relay squad, which placed fourth. Pascal Dion, Maxime Laoun and William Dandjinou (all of Montreal) and Félix Roussel of Sherbrooke, Que., stopped the clock in 

They were knocked out of contention when Dion lost his balance and fell after an exchange. Despite regaining his footing, his loss of speed allowed Hungary to move into third. China earned gold (6:51.106) ahead of Japan (6:51.173) and the Hungarians (6:52.326).

Dubois 4th in men's 500m

In other races, Canada failed to win an individual distance medal on Sunday after Roussel earned his first international medal in an individual distance with 1,000 bronze while Courtney Sarault took bronze in the women's 1,500.

Steven Dubois of Lachenaie, Que., narrowly missed the podium, placing fourth in the men's 500 in 42.008 seconds.

The 25-year-old was blocked by Korea's Tae Sung Kim while attempting an inside pass to move from second to first, causing him to lose his speed and fall out of contention.

Kim was penalized for the block, but the penalty had no impact on the final ranking. The medal podium featured China's Lin Xiaojun (41.329) and Zhong Yuchen (41.549) along with Japan's Kazuki Yoshinaga (41.750).

Canada concludes the World Cup season with the sixth and final event next weekend in Dordrecht, Netherlands. The short track world championships are scheduled for March 10-12 in Seoul.

Other Canadian results:

Women's 500 metres

  • Rikki Doak, 9th
  • Kim Boutin, 10th
  • Courtney Sarault, 11th

Women's 1,500(2)

  • Claudia Gagnon, 8th
  • Renée Steenge, 9th
  • Danaé Blais, 20th

Men's 500

  • Maxime Laoun, 7th
  • William Dandjinou, 59th

Men's 1,500(2)

  • Félix Roussel: 17th
  • Pascal Dion: 19th
  • Mathieu Pelletier: 24th

With files from CBC Sports

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